A Tupac pop-up restaurant is happening because his ghost will forever be a moneymaker
In the latest venture of capitalist opportunism that refuses to let a deceased artist rest, a Tupac-themed restaurant will be opening in Fresno, California commemorating the late rapper and artist. The Powamekka Cafe opening will be in honor of the 20th anniversary of Tupac’s murder, which is Sept. 13, and was inspired by a collection of his recipes and an outline for a restaurant he sketched up before he passed. This will definitely be super corny and maybe a little fun, but using Tupac’s name to make money will never end.
The name and logo for the restaurant was specifically taken from a Tupac sketch on display at the Grammy Museum, where the name Powamekka Cafe is drawn alongside a logo of an ankh symbol and a vision of bathroom doors labeled “Divaz” and “Playaz.” The menu includes an elaborate spread of Tupac-inspired dishes, such as Hennessey Apple Butter chicken wings, a California Love Chicken Sandwich, Thug Passion cake pops (drizzled with buttercream frosting), and a Mac-and-Cheeseburger.
It’s important to clarify the Powamekka Cafe will exclusively appear as a one day pop-up on the 13th through Take 3 Burgers, so the realization of Tupac’s culinary vision is fleeting and to be taken advantage of. But who knows, maybe this will inspire a more permanent installation of the late-rappers food visions, particularly if it garners a lot of cash money.
The host of the pop-up, Take 3 Burgers, is collaborating with the Fresno Grizzlies marketing director, Sam Hansen, who has previously worked alongside Kanye West in developing merchandise. Hansen expressed enthusiasm for the project and told The Business Journal this project has been fulfilling:
“Working on Powamekka Café makes me feel like I’m bringing Pac’s vision to life like I used to do for Kanye.”
On one hand, the concept of honoring the 20th anniversary of Tupac’s life with a night of food, music, and performance inspired by the late rapper is fabulous and feels like a continuation of his legacy. But it’s also feels like blatant opportunism that come from a mall restaurant monetizing an artist’s death 20 years later.
Would Tupac have envisioned his restaurant idea as a pop-up at the Fulton Mall and would he want artists of varying genres to cover his music as a tribute? Barring the ability to communicate with ghosts, we will never know whether these tributes would make him feel happy and blessed or exploited for profit. But really, when it comes to branding the ghosts of artists as a gimmick, the intentions of the artist aren’t really considered. Either way, the menu sounds delicious.