The ‘Breaking Bad’ Pop-Up Puts Meth in the News Again in West Hollywood

Breaking Bad staffers wearing hazmat suits in a reference to the meth manufacturing process.

West Hollywood, a city that has been in the news for the meth-related deaths in Ed Buck’s apartment and whose gay population struggles with drug addiction, is now home to a “Breaking Bad” pop-up restaurant.

The restaurant, “The Breaking Bad Experience,” is located at 7100 Santa Monica Blvd. east of Formosa. It is a promotion for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” a newly released film that is an epilogue to the “Breaking Bad” television series. That series tells the story of Walter White, a high school science teacher who begins to manufacture and market methamphetamine, a highly addictive and dangerous drug.

“You don’t have to build your own meth lab to go full Walter White,” says a story about the opening in TimeOut Los Angeles. “This month, the team that brought us pop-up restaurants inspired by Good Burger, Saved by the Bell and 90210 is launching a temporary restaurant and bar that dives into the world of everyone’s favorite chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin.”

The menu will feature Heisenberg sliders, a reference to the name that White adopts when he tries to go undercover. The servers will be wearing hazmat suits, a nod to the fact that manufacturing meth is a highly dangerous activity. And an RV like the one in which White lived and manufactured meth will be wrapped around an inside wall.

Fake containers of chemicals used to manufacture meth at the Breaking Bad Experience restaurant. (Photo by Nathaniel Wood, courtesy of Breaking Bad Experience.)

“It’s exciting to be able to give the folks who supported the show for all these years the chance to experience Walt’s world firsthand,” Breaking Bad creator, Vince Gilligan, said in a news release.

Jimmy Palmieri, founder of the Tweaker’s Project, an organization that provides help to those struggling with addiction, was critical of the pop-up. “Because of the struggles, deaths, and lives ruined from meth in this city, I find this to be tasteless and inappropriate. Good luck to them. I wonder if they will be donating the proceeds from this venture to our providers that try to heal the bodies and minds destroyed by meth.”

The restaurant will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 4 to 10 p.m. requires pre-paid reservations, which can be made on its website. The website features streaming images of smoke that would be familiar to those who have tried to cook chemicals into methamphetamine. The reservation costs $30, which gets one a chair at a table for 90 minutes plus a drink and one item from the menu.

The smoky homepage of the restaurant’s website.
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cody warlock
cody warlock
11 months ago

It doesn’t seem like a very inviting dining environment. But what do I know. Ive always been a bit out step with whats popular. Celebrating meth use is definitely out of my realm.
I’ll take a hard pass.

Eric Daniel
Eric Daniel
11 months ago

I’d go

Oh no
Oh no
11 months ago

This is absolutely disgusting & disgraceful given how many deaths there have been from meth in general. I have a sense of humor sure, but there are other ways of promoting a movie which everyone will go see anyway that liked breaking bad. Too many people have died in WeHo from meth. Shame shame shame. Congrats btw to Jimmy Palmiere for the work he does and for calling this out.

Mike Dolan
Mike Dolan
11 months ago
Reply to  Oh no

That’s like saying that nightclubs, bars are disgusting & disgraceful because people have died of alcoholism. Its a theme burger joint nothing more.

jimmy palmieri
jimmy palmieri
11 months ago
Reply to  Mike Dolan

p.s. alcohol of course is legal. i don’t know of a place that has waiters dressed like nurses, or a bar that is providing props to create a set up of chemicals to make jailhouse cooch. theme or not…i am not sure why a “theme” would need to immerse people into a meth lab atmosphere. that being said, to each his own. i hope the owner/producer shows a meth plagued city, that they care about those sick/dying/dead from meth use.

Mike Dolan
Mike Dolan
11 months ago
Reply to  jimmy palmieri

Yes I know. I was thinking of the hysteria during Prohibition. Knowing first hand past experience, this is not anything close or exposing customers to a “meth lab atmosphere”. I respect your call to action but this is simply a themed burger joint and today the small line to get in I can assure you did not contain meth addicts hoping to score. Speaking from my own horrific experience in my past.

Brendan
Brendan
11 months ago
Reply to  jimmy palmieri
Eric Jon Schmidt
11 months ago

The problem is: rational, logical and reasonable people will “get” the message this place is trying to convey, but there are those who will find it to be a “glamorization” of the use of meth. Most likely the younger people with limited life experience. If one life is affected or lost due to meth use after going to this restaurant that is one too many. The restaurant should also have disclaimers on the menu about the dangers of meth use and brochures at the door on the way out of the restaurant with more information about meth and organizations from… Read more »

Craig
Craig
11 months ago

This space is known for creating temporary restaurants based on TV shows. Breaking Bad with 139 wins and 229 nominations is the most awarded television show ever. If you’re a fan of the show, go enjoy it. If you’re not, don’t go. This isn’t about meth. It’s about bringing entertainment to life.

Joshua88
Joshua88
11 months ago
Reply to  Craig

Bravo to common sense.

The Real Zam
The Real Zam
11 months ago

If anyone thinks the show, and by extension this pop up, encourages the use of meth; they have clearly missed the point. The entire show is about how the drug destroys the lives of everyone involved, from user to kingpin. The show is centered on the slow & painful descent of its lead into the darkness of the drug world, in spite of the fact that he never even uses the drug. The fact that the story is entertaining only helps spread the intended message. The show is called “Breaking Bad”, not “Better Living With Blue”.

J. Miles
J. Miles
11 months ago
Reply to  The Real Zam

Sweetheart, I will forgive you for not being an expert on the topic. West Hollywood has a lot of people who are recovering from crystal meth addiction, as you surely know. Especially in early recovery, there is a phenomenon called cue-induced craving, where seeing things that remind someone of using can set off intense cravings. Walking into a place like this could easily set off such a craving. Consuming alcohol increases the likelihood that a person will not remain abstinent after such a craving. Also, they are profiting off a crisis that is killing people all over West Hollywood, whether… Read more »

Alison
Alison
11 months ago

As usual, the Commenters are over the top. This restaurant is promoting a movie based on a very popular TV show. It has nothing to do with the West Hollywood community. I am sure there are many people that will throng to this place that is in a mall space on the border with Hollywood. I will not be one of them though.

jimmy palmieri
jimmy palmieri
11 months ago
Reply to  Alison

Alison, I am happy that you think this has nothing to do with West Hollywood. I on the other hand think it has everything to do with West Hollywood, and believe it was strategically placed here, as meth use and overdoses are rampant here. I am also happy you won’t be going. Maybe sometime, you can join me when I take someone to rehab or to the hospital that weighs 90 pounds from using meth. I’d love the help, and you could see first hand the images burned in my brain that I cannot un-see.

Oh no
Oh no
11 months ago
Reply to  jimmy palmieri

Thanks Jimmy for the work you do and for facing the things one faces when they help addicts.

Joshua88
Joshua88
11 months ago
Reply to  Alison

As usual is right!

Vigilant
Vigilant
11 months ago

Another pathetic scream for attention and expression of our collective insanity. Better spend your money on a copy of META HUMAN, a recent book by Deepak Chopra. While not a follower of his, I did see an interview with him on Christiane Amanpour this morning. His words parallel another path, one I have personally chosen to the mountaintop.

Marco Colantonio
Marco Colantonio
11 months ago

Nothing about this is cool or inviting. It’s vulgar and insulting to West Hollywood, the plight of those suffering from addiction and to the recovery community.

Wtf is clever or appetizing about being served a burger by someone imitating a meth “cooker “ in a hazmat suit?

I would understand a pop up for the show that expounds and warns of the dangers of Meth as a deadly and highly addictive drug but “a pop up serving burgers” is a vile and repugnant idea.

It’s normalizing Crystal Meth and the producers should be ashamed!

Our City Council should sanction them.