Take-Two May Ban GTA-inspired Restaurants At SDCC?!

Take-Two has issued a notice to prevent the temporary Cluckin’ Bell and Burger Shot restaurants from opening at SDCC 2023.



The pop-up of the popular San Diego Comic-Con cosplay restaurant, themed around the ridiculous Grand Theft Auto fast food chain Cluckin’ Bell, has received a notice from Take-Two to cease operations. Following the success of the Cluckin’ Bell pop-up restaurant during SDCC 2022, it was announced that it would return for SDCC 2023 – alongside a new Burger Shot event. However, the publisher decided that the pop-ups infringed on Grand Theft Auto’s property. They have quietly made sure that they cannot continue.

During SDCC 2022, a surprising collaboration between Smokin J’s BBQ and fashion brand boyworldwide led to a Grand Theft Auto-inspired pop-up restaurant called Cluckin Bell.

The fast-food chain first appeared in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as a parody of Taco Bell and KFC mixed with profanity. The Cluckin’ Bell is also featured in Grand Theft Auto 5. At SDCC, Cluckin’ Bell drew directly from the Grand Theft Auto franchise with “Taste the ****” t-shirts, chicken masks, obscenity-laced menu items and even the in-game logo.

It seems that the announcement of Cluckin Bell’s return has unfortunately caught the attention of Take-Two. Rockstar Intel has confirmed to Smokin J’s BBQ that the publisher has served a notice to the restaurant. In a statement from Smokin J’s BBQ, the restaurant confirmed that the lawyers had served the notice.

Smokin J’s BBQ has confirmed that it intends to comply with Take-Two’s injunction. The specifics include cancelling the previously announced Burger Shot event at SDCC 2023. Also, the reworking of the Cluckin Bell pop-up shop. Cluckin’ Bell will no longer be operating. It will be replaced by another, as-yet-unrelated store, Don’t Cluckin’ Tell.

The change will presumably allow Smokin J’s BBQ to remove offensive, copyrighted material from the store while allowing the store to continue operating.

Although the publisher has not issued an official statement on the matter, it’s easy to see what the problem might have been. Cluckin’ Bell and Burger Shot are the intellectual property of Take-Two and Rockstar. A parody pop-up restaurant using the company’s IP may have gone under the radar in 2022. But to do the event again with a big announcement would seem to have gone too far.

Fans of Grand Theft Auto will understandably be disappointed with the decision. After all, this is just a fun pop-up that fits into the nerdiness of SDCC. However, there are bigger concerns. Not only has the pop-up exploited Take-Two’s popular IP without any official licensing or revenue sharing, but there is also the possibility that health or safety issues are being unfairly tied to the publisher.

Source: Twitter

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