That Pokémon-obsessed touring pop-up bar, PokéBar, isn’t coming to Austin anymore, because the organizers didn’t secure permission to use Pokémon branding from Nintendo, as reported by the Denver Post and Eater Montreal, and confirmed by a rep for the organizing company Viral Ventures. It was going to take place in Austin on Saturday, January 25, 2020, though the location hadn’t been settled yet.
“Despite being unaffiliated with Pokémon Nintendo, we unfortunately have been given no other option but to change the name of the event and a number of elements,” as a rep told Eater Austin. “We are currently in the process of rebranding and relaunching the event.” That seems to indicate that it didn’t reach out to pay licensing fees for the Japanese creatures
The burger pop-up was then changed to the very generic-sounding “The Monster Brunch.” There had been a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the new website indicated that it is “not associated with Nintendo or any other brand. We are an immersive burger pop up bar.” However, as Eater Atlanta discovered, that replacement pop-up isn’t happening anymore either, as of last week.
It wasn’t clear, anyway, if that now-cancelled replacement pop-up was planned for Austin. Eater has reached out for more information regarding the Austin pop-up. This article will be updated accordingly.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time this has happened to Viral Ventures. Eater Montreal discovered that the same thing happened to a proposed Lego-themed pop-up bar, which had to be rebranded after Lego found out about it.
What would’ve been main highlight of the PokéBar were the Pokémon burgers, fashioned to look like those beloved cuddly Pokemon, including Pikachu, Charmander, and Bulbasaur. Then there would have been themed cocktails too, which haven’t been detailed yet.
The pop-up was supposed to serve as a Pokémon gym for players, where people would have been able to catch and train their Poké-creatures, like a live action Pokémon Go game. Plus there were plans for trivia, costume contests, and a DJ for the inevitable Pokemon dance party.
Austin attendees would’ve registered for pre-sale tickets for tickets that would’ve come with a single Pokémon burger and a drink (either a cocktail, beer, wine, or two non-alcoholic options).
This article has been updated to include new information regarding the nature of the pop-up.
- Oops: Nintendo Doesn’t Want That Touring Pokémon Pop-Up Bar to Use the ‘Pokémon’ Name [Eater Montreal]
- The Monster Brunch [Official]