Pablo Escobar went from being one of the most feared criminals in history to becoming a popular legend driven by the success of Narcos.
His name is now everywhere: from bars, restaurants and nightclubs to hotels, shirts, cushions, clothing and paintings, among dozens of other items.
The 10 commercial establishments that pay tribute to him, now and are joined by two others that opened in recent months: a restaurant in Spain and a bar in Singapore. Both bear his name.
In a crowded restaurant area of Barcelona, EscoBar opened in December.
On the walls of the new dining establishment are several murals with the image of the bloody capo, as well as a virgin surrounded by bills.
The menu of the restaurant pays tribute with dishes such as hamburgers “El patron” or “Popeye cheeseburger”.
The place already has several negative comments from people criticizing that a business honors a criminal.
“It’s incredible that there are people who still believe that Pablo Escobar is a good example for any activity. That man was and continues to be a disgrace for our country, “one user wrote on Google Maps.
Another person described it as “offensive” that the owner tries to profit economically with “this type of filth.”
Thousands of miles away, the “Escobar” bar recently opened in a busy area known as China Square Central, the business also has two murals “dedicated to the King of Cocaine” and at the entrance an image with his face surrounded by flowers.
The unrest was such that the Colombian Embassy in Singapore sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country rejecting the idea behind the business and recalled the “horror that this criminal caused in Colombia.”
“If the owner’s idea was to make his business look profitable and modern, then it is inducing confusion, because Colombia is no longer what the it was,” says the letter published by Semana magazine.
The owners of the business in Singapore responded to the controversy in their social networks and assured that although the idea disappoints many, they will not close the business, they will only renew the logo.
“We are aware of the controversy and would like to take this opportunity to apologize to those who have been offended. It was never our intention to glorify or condone Pablo Escobar’s actions,” says the text posted on the restaurant-bar’s Facebook account.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.