Crypto-themed Restaurant Stops Accepting Cryptocurrency
When the Long Beach burger eatery Bored & Hungry originally debuted in April, it didn’t only embrace the trappings of crypto culture. It was also all-in on digital money.
There were “meme-like” references to rockets and bulls on the walls, and the cups and platters were plastered with Bored Apes. The cartoon monkeys that celebrities like Paris Hilton and Post Malone have praised as six-figure investments. Customers were, however, given the option of paying for their meals in bitcoin. The eatery was literally putting its money where its mouth was.
That is no longer the case, not even three months later, in the middle of a crypto meltdown with some investors seeking a way out.
During a pause in the lunch rush one recent afternoon. The cashier stamped paper bags with the fast-food joint’s name. Twin menus hung over his head, listing Bored & Hungry’s meat-based and vegan selections, but only in old-fashioned US dollars.
However, an employee who declined to be identified stated that the business does not take cryptocurrency payments. “Not today – I don’t know,” they responded, failing to say how long the business had stopped taking cryptocurrency or if it would be reinstated in the future.
With both currencies down more than 60% since early April and double-digit intraday volatility, any firm would be understandably hesitant to take them instead of dollars. However, users may also have a role. An employee at the restaurant’s grand launch told The Times that the bitcoin payments were unmanageable and generally disregarded by diners.
Nearly three months later, finding a customer who cared much about the restaurant’s commitment to the crypto cause was difficult.
“Yes, there is money because you can swap NFTs and everything. But as far as purchasing food and all that, maybe not,” one crypto-enthusiast diner, Marc Coloma, said outside the restaurant as he munched on fries. “People want to keep their Ethereum. They aren’t going to want to utilise it.”
Long Beach resident Michael Powers, 46, was less informed. He frequents Bored & Hungry — as often as two or three times a week, he estimates — but while the ape-themed signs lured him in, he didn’t realise the restaurant was NFT-themed until his sons explained it to him.
Powers’ first expedition into cryptocurrency, an investment in the Elon Musk-backed currency dogecoin, did not go well, and he has no plans to try again. “I’ve had my fill” of cryptocurrency, he added, but not of the burgers, which are an upmarket take on In-N-“animal Out’s style” sandwiches. Incidentally, the chopped onions and creamy sauce are a pleasant addition that isn’t susceptible to wild swings in value or high transaction costs.
Another Long Beach resident, 30-year-old Richard Rubalcaba, claimed he invested in Ethereum. It happened after meeting other crypto investors during the four-hour wait for the grand launch of Bored & Hungry. However, he paid in US dollars for this visit as well.
The crypto ecosystem is presently in free decline. High-profile enterprises take extraordinary measures to avoid disaster or collapse entirely. Cryptocurrency values plummet.
The two cryptocurrencies initially accepted by Bored & Hungry, Ethereum and Apecoin, are down to around 23% and 17% of their highs during the previous year, respectively. According to estimates, the entire sector is worth less than one-third of what it was in early 2022.
Neither have the non-fungible tokens that serve as the foundation of the Bored & Hungry brand been spared. Bored Apes is a digital trading card series based on pictures of anthropomorphic monkeys. Its owners include Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg. Some have sold for millions. Nonetheless, they are now subject to the same market pressures as the rest of the crypto economy.
Lindsey, 33, of San Pedro, said she didn’t know anything about cryptocurrency but came to Bored & Hungry because she likes the vegan burger brand it stocks. However, she stated that the setting inside the restaurant inspired her to study ecology more.
Another resident, Nick Jackson, 29, said he’s more into Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards. Still, past visits to Bored & Hungry led him to look into Ethereum and Apecoin.
Jessica Perez, 24, of Gardena, isn’t interested in bitcoin either, but she was returning to Bored & Hungry. “We rank this up there with In-N-Out, maybe even better,” she remarked.
Perez has no immediate intentions to invest in cryptocurrency, but she says she would explore it. “It’s a terrific approach to promote cryptocurrencies,” she says of the eatery.