A fictional chicken shop, famed for selling crystal meth, has opened in Sydney to promote a Breaking Bad spin-off

Giancarlo Esposito in Sydney today. Source: Stan/Facebook

The Thirsty Birdfried chicken shop is normally the place you head after a few drinks in Kings Cross for a chicken burger, but for today and tomorrow, it’s been turned into the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos fried chicken store from the US crime series Breaking Bad.

Streaming service Stan recreated the fake store to promote its new season of the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul, a stunt they’re also running simultaneously in the US and it seems fans of the series are the same all over the world – people are forming long queues to eat Thirsty Bird’s rebranded chicken with curly fries.

Here’s the queue outside the store as it opened for lunch today.

In the two TV shows, Los Pollos Hermanos is owned by a drug lord (played by Giancarlo Esposito, who’s in Sydney for the promotion) and passed off a legitimate business through which crystal methamphetamine is shipped and distributed. The character, Gus Fring, now stars on Better Call Saul.

Here’s Esposito turning up at the store today.

But not everyone’s happy with to see Mexico’s drug culture turned into a pop culture moment. Swinburne University of Technology lecturer César Albarrán Torres, who fled his birthplace due to Mexico’s drug wars, which saw more than 160,000 people murdered in the last decade, compares the chicken shop to celebrating the Syrian civil war.

“There would be public outcry if a TV show found banal entertainment value and marketing potential in the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, or the Rwandan genocide or the Syrian civil war,” Albarrán Torres argues.

“Since the shows began in 2008, their producers have done little in the plotlines to acknowledge the human tragedy being experienced in Mexico. For the past 40 years, it and other countries such as Colombia have suffered the deathly effects of the drug trade, including mass murder, corruption at all levels of government and a general sense of unease in the population.”

Of course given the concerns of local authorities, with theAustralian government spending $300 million to tackle the nation’s growing ice problem , and a record $900 million worth of ice siezed last week, it does seem odd that pop culture can triumph over the far darker intent if it comes with a serve of fried chicken.

Stan has been contacted for comment. We’ll update this story if we hear back from them.

* Stan is part-owned by Fairfax Media, which owns Allure, Business Insider Australia’s publishing company.

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