The owner of Bored and Hungry, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)-themed restaurant, has hit back at reports that the eatery no longer accepts cryptocurrency.
Last week, the LA Times reported that the Long Beach burger joint had stopped accepting ApeCoin and Ethereum as payment amid a crypto bear market and instead only displayed prices in US dollars.
A member of the restaurant’s staff also confirmed that it wasn’t accepting crypto but failed to give any further information about when the change in policy began or when crypto payments might return.
“Not today — I don’t know,” the staff member told LA Times on the day a reporter visited, on the condition of anonymity.
However, on Monday co-founder Andy Nguyen and the Bored and Hungry official Twitter account called out the reports.
“Stop the fake news. We still accept ETH & $APE,” Bored and Hungry’s tweet read, while Nguyen claimed that people were able to pay for their burgers with crypto at last week’s ApeFest.
Bored and Hungry’s Twitter account posted a video of a successful crypto payment with an accompanying thread explaining the situation.
“From day 1, Bored & Hungry has been committed to bridging IRL to web3… This means sometimes we encounter maintenance windows. A backup system has been put in place for those windows to mitigate any future downtimes. We’re focused and committed to the future of web3,” it said.
Indeed, an update to the LA Times’ story acknowledged a follow-up response from co-founder Kevin Seo who said crypto payments were temporarily suspended for system upgrades during the reporter’s visit.
Protos has reached out to Bored and Hungry regarding the LA Times article. We’ll update this piece should we hear back.
Bought BAYC NFTs and made a restaurant
Nevertheless, there remains a palpable hype around the algorithmically generated apes with a floor price of 91.7 ETH (close to $110,000). This is despite relentless efforts from scammers to relieve owners of their valuable apes and other pricey NFTs.
In March, Nguyen bought Bored Ape #6184 for $267,000 along with two other Mutant Apes which now feature in the restaurant’s packaging. The following month, he and Soe set up the restaurant using the crypto payment gimmick, likely to attract press attention.
However, one regular customer didn’t even realize the crypto connection until his sons made him aware. Michael Powers told LA Times he was first attracted to the restaurant because of the images of apes. Another diner told the publication that people would rather HODL crypto than swap their ETH for a burger.
“People want to hold onto their Ethereum. They’re not gonna want to use it,” they said.
Indeed, when the LA Times visited the restaurant on opening day, an employee noted that crypto wasn’t exactly a popular form of payment.
“In theory, you can pay for your meal in cryptocurrency but according to a woman working behind the register, it’s a troublesome process and few people actually did it.”
In any case, the LA Times was unable to use crypto in Bored and Hungry’s restaurant during its most recent visit. The publication said given the recent bear market, which has seen both ETH and ApeCoin shed value and fluctuate wildly, it would be understandable for the restaurant to stop accepting crypto.
However, a performance from Snoop Dog and Eminem at last week’s ApeFest appears to have nudged ApeCoin up over 20% to $4.79 at press time (according to CoinGecko). Nevertheless, it’s still down 82% from its all-time high of $26.70 in April.