What follows are three stories about theme restaurants with very ill-advised themes. Two of them are real…and one we made up. Can you guess the fake? (Answer is at the end of the post.)
A pizza parlor opened in Mumbai, India, in 2006 and was immediately beset with controversy. That’s because it’s a theme restaurant in which the theme…was Hitler. The restaurant was called Hitler’s Cross, named after a nickname for the swastika, the symbol of the Nazi party. Such “crosses” and photos of Hitler greeted patrons as they tried to eat pizza. Why would the owner do this? Punit Sabhlok said he wanted to “be different.” Nevertheless, a few months after opening, he changed the name of the restaurant to “Cross Cafe” and removed the swastikas and giant Hitler picture.
Jeffrey Dahmer lived outside of Milwaukee during most of the time he became one of America’s most notorious serial killers…and cannibals. That’s why some local residents thought it was in poor taste that local restaurateur David Walsh opened up a Jeffrey Dahmer-themed restaurant in 2010 called Top Jeff. The establishment is a barbecue joint, serving up only meat, invoking the dietary habits of the cannibalistic killer. The place was shut down after six months due to protests and poor business, although the top seller was a plate of offal called “The Killer.”
Bar owner Francisco Fernandes has always looked a little like the terrorist—he has a long gray beard and thick eyebrows. Since 9/11, people started noticing the similarity, and Fernandes capitalized, turning his formerly heavy metal bar in Sao Paulo into “Caverna do Bin Laden,” Portuguese for “Bin Laden Bar.” What’s weirder is that it starte a trend. There are more than a dozen bars in Brazil whose walls are lined with pictures of bin Laden that are staffed by bartenders who look like Osama bin Laden.
Want more of the patently untrue? Check out Uncle John’s Fake Facts. (Really!)