“I roll up in yo’ city and get my push on,” Bun B raps in the Underground Kingz 2007 hit “The Game Belongs to Me,” and the game does belong to Bun B, the NFT game that is.
Bun B is going from artist to businessman with the launch of his latest venture, Trill Burgers. Houstonia first announced the new undertaking in 2021, when he launched the business alongside restaurateurs Andy Nguyen (Afters Ice Cream, Dough and Arrow) and siblings Patsy and Benson Vivares (Sticky’s Chicken).
After hosting several successful pop-ups for the restaurant in Houston, the smashburger concept is headed to Long Beach, Calif., where NFTs and food will be merged to create the first-of-its-kind, Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed restaurant, dubbed Bored & Hungry.
Bored Ape Yacht Club, the community of NFT holders who own the rare designs of the highly priced monkey graphics, are some of the more in-crowd art collectors of the cryptocurrency-fueled space. The BAYC NFTs are typically sold in the six-figure range, starting roughly around $200,000. What adds to the beauty of owning these highly priced works is that BAYC grants owners the complete rights to their purchases for personal or commercial use, which propelled Nguyen to open a restaurant. The food maverick and crypto-enthusiast is the proud owner of Bored Ape #6184, and the forthcoming restaurant gleans inspiration from the BAYC characters. The inspiration can be seen in the restaurant name, food packaging and employee uniforms.
“The amazing thing about the NFT space is the opportunity for rapid growth,” Bun B says in a statement. “Trill Burgers was born in Houston just last summer. We’ve done pop-ups. We’ve done festivals. We’re at the world’s biggest rodeo. And now, with Bored and Hungry, it opens us up to a worldwide community.”
Guests can expect the typical American burger joint. The restaurant will be powered by Bun B’s Trill Burgers and Beleaf Burgers, and guests will have the option of ordering beef or vegan smashburgers, plus fries, milkshakes and sodas.
The restaurant is set to launch to the public on Saturday, April 9. Nguyen will run it as a pop-up for 90 days, per a press release. Nguyen, who’s been coined the “Mashup King” in the food industry by Food Network, wants to bridge the gap between the digital world and real life, while also showcasing the capabilities of NFTs.
“The goal is to give back to the growing Web 3.0 community and open the doors to those who want to learn more about this new Web 3/NFT world,” Nguyen said. “Our job is to educate the public about this new future world and show people that you can create a brand/business out of this IP — taking away the stigma of ‘It’s just a JPEG.’”
On the day of the restaurant’s opening, fellow BAYC NFT owners will be greeted with a free meal, along with other NFT surprises.
Bored & Hungry is located at 2405 E. 7th St. in Long Beach, California. Open Saturday, April 9. Free, but registration is required. More information here.