Bored & Hungry pop-up launches in Long Beach on Saturday. Boardroom caught up with Andy Nguyen — the mastermind behind the restaurant — and his partner Bun B for the latest “Boardroom Spotlight.”
NFTs are more than digital art. Bored & Hungry proves that the intellectual property attached to an NFT can be transformed into various brand and business endeavors.
Since you can’t really eat in Web3 yet, Andy Nguyen, a restaurant entrepreneur and Web3 enthusiast, came up with a new way to bring the NFT community together: the Bored & Hungry IRL restaurant, opening as a pop-up on Saturday in Long Beach, California.
Nguyen purchased Bored Ape #6184 for roughly $267,000 on March 1. He told Boardroom that this was his fourth Bored Ape Yacht Club purchase, and the process of acquiring Bored Ape #6184 took about three months.
Giving Back to the Web3 Community
Nguyen always envisioned monetizing his Bored Ape portfolio.
Two weeks after making the big purchase, Nguyen announced his partnership with Houston rapper Bun B’s Trill Burgers and Beleaf Burgers to open Bored & Hungry, a pop-up Smashburger restaurant. Nguyen maximized Yuga Labs’ policy that enables BAYC holders to utilize their ape’s likeness, branding the concept with #6184.
The inspiration behind Bored & Hungry sparked from Nguyen’s goal to break the stigma around NFT use cases and to make a statement in the growing Web3 industry.
“I wanted to give back to the Web3 community before I entered it,” Nguyen told Boardroom during an interview at the Bored & Hungry pop-up location. “I wanted to change how people are skeptical of the industry and calling [an NFT] a JPEG all the time.”
Nguyen hopes Bored & Hungry will jumpstart a whole new ecosystem in the food space. Bored & Hungry differs from Nguyen’s past food industry projects. There is more significant hype around it since no one else has applied Web3 IP in this way. The pop-up will have a simple menu offering burgers, fries, and drinks, but Nguyen said the Bored & Hungry experience will set it apart from traditional restaurants.
Nguyen mentioned that there is a chance Bored & Hungry will accept crypto, like ApeCoin, as payment in the future. By Saturday morning, it was announced that Bored & Hungry is the first restaurant to accept ApeCoin, and will also accept Ethereum.
Nguyen is focused on creating a safe space for Web3 enthusiasts to indulge in a good meal and network.
“Our target demographic is everyone [who] believes in the future or [is] curious about the future,” he said. “This is [a] space for them to come and [have] a real-life experience that you can’t do digitally, right? [It’s] for all the Web3 guys that want a place to hang out and eat together. But also, if you want education about Web3, this is a great place to come, too.”
Bun B’s Vision
Bun B told Boardroom that he hasn’t always been a business-minded person, and he had to pick up on skills the hard way in the music industry.
He got into the food business simply because he’s a big food fan. Bun B linked up with a friend and started a food blog a decade ago before he and Nguyen teamed up on Trill Burgers last year. Bun B was adamant about leaning on his music fan base when the pair were brainstorming names for Trill Burgers.
“It’s 30 years of blood, sweat, and tear equity built into the brand,” Bun B said about his Trill Burgers. “There isn’t a burger you can replace it with. They’re not just coming just because it’s Bun B; that’s not the sole reason. When you actually try this burger, you realize you’ve never had a burger like this before.”
Bun B’s vision for Trill Burgers is to “present the best burger in the world,” and this opportunity with Bored & Hungry accelerates that goal. He said he and Nguyen hadn’t planned to open up the pop-up in L.A. this quickly, but they saw an opportunity they just couldn’t sit on.
Bun B said that even though there are a lot of Bored Ape holders out there, none of them have the vision and grit like Nguyen to launch a project like this.
“We realized that we had the potential to do something no one else in the world had done before, but there was a window,” Bun B said. “We had to catch it ’cause we knew we weren’t the only people that were considering it, but we probably had a better pool of resources to pull it off faster.”
Bun B is eager to learn from Nguyen. One thing the pair are equally well-versed in is NFTs. Bun B is invested in the InBetweeners NFT collection. Overall, he said NFTs give him a way to build a stronger connection with artists whose work he supports and appreciates. On the flip side, Bun B said his NFT and food business work gives his music fans a chance to see what his hobbies are outside of the studio.
As Bun B continues to find his footing in the food business, he said he wants to keep track of the lessons he learns along the way. He’ll be approaching his future food endeavors like he approached his music career: by being transparent, open, and willing to teach.
“I’m not above learning. I’m not above wanting to know more. Not only do I want to be successful, but I also want to leave a blueprint and a map,” Bun B explained. “It’s not like I woke up one day and said I wanted to make a burger. And I made all this shit happen. Oh no, no. There are many moving parts to this. And I feel like I do the lightest work in terms of putting this company together. That’s why I try to overdo it, you know? It’s important for them to feel like they’re supported. I want Andy to know that he’s got my full support.”
Nguyen took on Bored & Hungry to launch his own NFT project called Food Fighters Universe. He said this is his way of figuring out how to save the restaurant industry. Nguyen believes NFTs will be the game-changer in the food space and can be used to bring in revenue to pump back into the industry.
Launching in May, Food Fighters Universe is an NFT collection that will connect food to the Web3 industry, per a press release. The collection will include 10,000 unique NFTs, and each purchase will help develop an NFT-backed restaurant group. Bored & Hungry is the first example of Nguyen’s vision to transform Web3 into IRL experiences.
Food Fighters will be releasing a mint date soon, but supporters can expect curated food experiences from chefs and other known figures, ownership rights for each NFT, IRL experiences, and more.