Earlier this month, Smokin J’s BBQ and Las Vegas Fashion Brand boyworldwide announced they’d be bringing back their real life GTA restaurant alongside San Diego Comic-Con 2023. Last year’s pop-up was a huge success so they wanted to go bigger. The plan was to have a Burger Shot store also appear in the city.
Both Burger Shot and Cluckin’ Bell have been featured in the Grand Theft Auto Series since the early days. Burger Shot first appeared in Vice City whilst Cluckin’ Bell opened in San Andreas.
However, Take-Two interactive, Rockstar’s parent company, issued them a Cease and Desist to stop them from offering fans a cool experience in-person. Smokin J’s BBQ told us the Burger Shot installation would no longer being going ahead but had plans to push on with Cluckin’ Bell, just under a new name.
Several large Twitter accounts misrepresented our reporting. They claimed the restaurant had been shut down despite never actually opening, without any additional context. This led to many fans thinking it would not open at all harming this business over the weekend.
By chance, I had been invited on a business trip to San Diego for Comic-Con so I had to check out the Cluckin’ Bell restaurant for myself and write an article about it to share my experience with you.
Don’t Cluckin’ Tell
Rebranded as Don’t Cluckin’ Tell, the restaurant was located on 751 4th Ave in San Diego this past weekend. The bright yellow sign above the entrance stands out on this south Californian street.
Employees were on the street welcoming people in dressed in full uniform complete with chicken head hats.
Stuck to the windows and doors of the restaurant were several interesting display pieces. Several NPCs had put up notices. Rickie is buying used iFruit phones, Nikki is looking for her cat and Dave lost his chicken. Joe also had a listing up for a used Karin Dilettante; he wants GTA $20,000 for it.
A few other notices could also be seen. One piece of paper had a career opportunity for skilled Snapmatic uses and one person is offering to be someone’s friend. GroveSt4life graffiti text was put on the brick wall which was a nice touch.
The menu of the restaurant was visible along with a disclaimer stating this event was not set up to misrepresent GTA, Rockstar or Take-Two.
Upon walking in, I was greeted by a San Andreas map rug on the floor and a stall. The stall hosted a till, menus, stickers, banners and a push-up challenge.
We placed an order for several pieces of chicken, fries and pork belly. To drink, we could not resist a bottle of eCola and Orang-O-Tang.
Whilst waiting for the food to be brought to the table, livestreams of chickens in their pen caught my eye. Behind the bar, 3 monitors showing chickens go about their daily lives were present.
The experience was enhanced by Non Stop Pop FM playing the background. If you were unable to come down to the restaurant, you certainly missed out on this GTA fun!
How’d the food and drink taste?
The chicken pieces and their sauces were fantastic. It was a tasty meal to top off a great weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. The drinks were also refreshing. The GTA themed items were of high quality.
Tucking in to the chicken, I noticed many pedestrians walking by noticing the big Don’t Cluckin’ Tell banner and the outrageous materials on the exterior.
I spent time time speaking with the friendly owners, Joshua, and Michael, behind this event. They were extremely kind and thankful for our coverage of their work so far.
Please do check out Smokin J’s BBQ and boyworldwide‘s website and socials for more info about what they do. The location used for this weekend’s Don’t Cluckin’ Tell is now a permanent BBQ restaurant. The other locations you can visit are in Poway, CA and Miralani Drive, San Diego.
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