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‘Had Me Believe He Was a Fan of Us’: Australian Restaurant Owner Hit with a Cease-and-Desist Letter After Using Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’ Album as Inspiration for His Designs, Menu, and More

Kanye West fan Mark Elkhouri has been sent a cease-and-desist letter after opening up a restaurant inspired by the hip-hop legend. 

Australian restaurateur Mark Elkhouri had named his Melbourne eatery College Dropout Burgers, after Kanye West’s Grammy Award-winning debut studio album “The College Dropout.” Elkhouri also used themes from the critically acclaimed artist as names for some menu items. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 22: Kanye West arrives at the Balenciaga show on May 22, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

WA Today reports that some burgers on the menu took names after Kanye songs. A few examples are “Golddigger fried chicken burger,” “Good morning breakfast burger,” and “Cheezuz burger.” The owner also allegedly depicted his, “logo and menu after the debut project,” WA reported.

While Elkhouri might have thought this was a nice way to honor his favorite rapper, Ye thought differently. The “Gold Digger” artist was not only dismayed by the entire gesture, but also issued a cease-and-desist letter to Elkhouri and his restaurant business last month. The letter was a follow-up to one West had sent Elkhouri in February 2021, as Broadsheet reported.

A cease-and-desist letter, when not issued by a court or government body, has no legal force but serves as an intention toward further legal action such as a lawsuit.

Mark Elkhouri claims Kanye West seemingly supported the restaurant before sending a cease-and-desist letter. @collegedropoutburgers/ Instagram

Elkhouri not only needed to make legal changes to the restaurant, but his establishment’s mural of West was ordered to be covered up expeditiously. 

WA Today also wrote, “The cease and desist notice has forced Elkhouri to paint over a mural of the US rapper, also known as Ye, at the store in Melbourne’s north-east and erase crowned teddy bear logo inspired artwork from West’s debut College Dropout album.”

Elkhouri expressed to how surprised he was West took legal action because, “The fact he was viewing our [Instagram] stories and was there had me believe he was a fan of us.”

While Mark declared disappointment surrounding the whole affair, he still considers himself a Kanye fan. He told WA Today, “I am extremely disappointed. There’s no doubt about that, but it doesn’t even come close to the impact that he’s had on my life.”

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