In central Little Haiti, there is a small plaza that houses a few businesses. One of these is the Carnicero Romero, a butcher's shop. The building itself is a minuscule green building decorated with tan stucco. It is further split into four sections: a large sign reading "Carnicero Romero Family Butchers," followed by a doorway or window covered with a sheet metal shutter, a display case showcasing what the butchery has for sale, and then another metal shutter. Above the Carnicero Romero and nearby shops is a small apartment complex, all featuring boarded off windows. Nearby is the Funeraria Romero undertaker shop and even closer is the entrance to the Romero cemetery.
Carnicero Romero is connected with multiple myths in the game.
Human organsIn the front store window of the butcher shop, there is a human brain and arm among the other various animal parts sold at the butcher shop. There is also a white colored box with "Human Organs For Transplant" written on it in red.
There is a skeleton without a forearm in the Funeraria Romero Cemetery, next to a hidden package. Fans have speculated the missing forearm to be the same one that is kept at the Butcher Shop. This is ironic, considering that the Butchers are also selling a human arm in their shop window. The skeleton in the cemetery is missing its left arm, while the store window is selling a right arm. This could imply that the Romero family have dug up other graves in the cemetery as well, or just a possible developer oversight when adding the reference.
Players have speculated that these organs are transported in the Romero Hearse.
Another theory by the fans that human organs reference Donald Love and are supposedly purchased by him to further his cannibalistic activities in the city, although there is no evidence to prove that. These human organs may also be smuggled via the Vice City Port Authority, located a few blocks away, however, this isn't confirmed yet.
The Carnicero Romero is the pivotal starting point of the Romero Riddle, a theory claiming that the Romero business family is behind nefarious acts in Vice City. However, the majority of connections within the Romero Riddle are derived from the Funeraria Romero, with the butchery simply serving as proof of the family's cannibalistic actions.
R. S. & L. Bows is a fellow butcher business in Vice City, although their relationship with the Romeros is unknown. R. S. & L Bows has van delivery service in the city while the Romeros simply sell from their storefront or use underground manholes to transport meat. Fan rumors say that either R. S. & L. Bows deliver the meat for the Romeros to reduce suspicion from the authorities, or that both companies exchange goods with each other for their own ends.
- Main article: Demon Butcher
In the game's PS2 release, a picture of Hilary Briss is found in the store's display. Briss is a character in the BBC comedy The League of Gentlemen, appearing as a butcher whose food poisons most of the town. His appearance in the game has been considered a nod towards the abandonment of certain Little Haiti areas, such as the Stygian Houses, caused by the Romeros selling human meat.
Quimby & FlangeQuimby & Flange is a small shop in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, located exactly where the Carnicero Romero is in 1986. Because of the location, myth hunters have formulated connections between the two businesses but this has never lead to anything concrete. Beyond having thick black curtains covering the windows, there is nothing particularly creepy about the building itself.
It has been hotly debated in the Vice City community as to if the Carnicero Romero building is an original creation or a parody of real-world media.
The first suspected reference is that the name references George Romero, a famous film director who popularized the Zombie genre with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. The human organs could also reference the nature of the zombies in Romero's films.
Another theory is that the area references the 1968 film Rosemary's Baby. The name Carnicero Romero translates from Spanish as "rosemary butchers." Additionally, the film deals with the subjects of cannibalism and murder, further linking the Romero's activities. In addition, the protagonists move to an apartment building and later find out that a girl named Terry threw herself to her death from the window of the seventh-floor apartment. This could be the apparent reason some of the building's windows are nailed down.
A third but far-fetched reference says that the store was named after video game designer John Romero, creator of the first person shooters Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, which were controversial for gory content at the time of their release.
Many more fan rumors have sprung around the Carnicero Romero, but none of these have come to fruition.
- The building has two entrances with metal shutters. This is suspicious as it is out of place for the location and may serve as a way to hide the activities within.
- The Haitian Voodoo Ritual has been connected as well since Voodoo rituals can sometimes involve human or animal sacrifice. There are no known Haitians who practice this, however, and no indication that the Romeros follow Voodoo.