Kanye West To Join Rarefied League

Exciting news, America (specifically Chicago-region)! As reported on MenuPages Chicago, Kanye West is opening a Fatburger franchise in Chicago and environs. The first KW Foods LLC-owned Fatburger is slated to open next month, and will be the first of ten.

We are happy for Chicago (by all accounts, Fatburger tastes awesome), but even happier for Kanye who gets to join a vaunted rank occupied by Jay-Z, Ludacris, P. Diddy, among others. We’re not talking about album sales here, or Grammys, sneaker endorsements, or novelty Christmas albums. No. We mean that of rappers who own dining establishments.

As it turns out, Kanye is not the first hip-hop celebrity to own a Fatburger. Alledgedly, rappers E-40 and Queen Latifah both own franchises here in the US, and Pharrell owns one in China. After the jump, more rapper restaurateurs.

Moving beyond fast food joints, Jay-Z is the proud proprietor of the 40/40 Club, a sports bar and lounge with locations in New York, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Tokyo, and Macau. There’s a quote on the website, from Jigga himself, describing the club as “conducive to [his] lifestyle,” which must count for something, right?

Kanye may be the newest kid on the restaurant-owning block, but before he announced his Fatburger intentions, Ludacris was the most recent one. Ludacris’s restaurant is part of the Straits stable of restaurants, and is upscale Asian Fusion. His inspiration for opening a restaurant? From his own mouth:

During my travels, I’ve experienced some of the most diverse international culinary flavours in the world. After experiencing Yeo’s modern spin on Singaporean cuisine combined with the sexy dining experience, I wanted to bring this restaurant home to Atlanta.

[via Young Hollywood]

A word of warning to future rappers-turned-restaurateurs though! Owning a restaurant might not always be the low-key gambit you were hoping for. Just ask P. Diddy about Justin’s: sure, the Atlanta location is still in business, but the New York flagship is shuttered. What’s more, it just so happens to be where Fabolous got shot in the leg! Oops.

“Kanye West to launch burger chain” [Guardian UK]
“Ludacris – Rapper Turner Entrepreneur?” [Fast Company]
“Ludacris To Launch Restaurant” [Young Hollywood]

Kanye West To Join Rarefied League