Strange as it might seem, there is a Bin Laden lookalike in São Paulo and he has shamelessly cashed in on his looks by opening a thriving downtown drinking hole called the Bin Laden bar (Bar do Bin Laden).
Ceará Francisco Helder Braga Fernandes has actually been in São Paulo since 1978 and according to him, he was unaware that he was a lookalike until 9/11. Even then, it was only when a worried member of the public called the police and claimed that the world’s most wanted man was actually hanging out in central São Paulo.
A false alert, maybe, but it was enough to make him a minor celebrity and send some TV crews by. Since then he has opened his own bar in the Anhangabaú region and draws in crowds by posing for photos with his clients. It is particularly popular with goths and rockers in search of dark humour as well as dark music!
|Fernandes, or Uncle Bin, as he is known to his customers|
“I am a man of goodwill. I can’t stand violence,” says Mr Fernandes “But this was great for business. No one calls me Francisco anymore. It’s Osama or bin Laden.”
Indeed, most of his customers refer to him simply as Tio Bin, or Uncle Bin.