Music Business

Eat It: Restaurants Owned by Musicians

Hotlanta is so hot that they can even turn their airport into a club. Stay with us. A few days ago, Ludacris announced that he will close his Asian/Singaporean restaurant, Straits, and embark on a new "restaurateur" opportunity: opening a "Chicken and Beer" restaurant inside of Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International airport.

Jay-Z also put his bid in the Atlanta airport early in 2011, attempting to open another of his worldwide 40/40 Clubs. However, the mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, denied the proposal. If the business (man) Jay-Z was scoping out the airport destination a year ago, this has to be an upcoming business trend for other restaurantrepreneurs.

It makes sense. After all, Hartsfield Jackson is the busiest airport in the world, serving over 243,000 passengers per day and 89 million passengers a year.

We have some advice for future restaurateurs: putting your restaurant in a casino was so 2011. In 2012, if you want to make some real money, put your restaurant in an airport. Here's a list of some musicians who have made it in the dining world-from casino drinking spots to sports bars to hokey Northern "Southern" style grills.

I Love This Bar & Grill (Toby Keith) Take a look at the poster for this honky-tonk doesn't need much more of an introduction. Keith named his restaurant after his hit song, "I Love This Bar". He owns 3 locations, 2 of which are in casinos in Las Vegas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The menu features a prime rib simply called: "How Big A Boy Are Ya?" Oh, and you're liable to get booted out if you ask for french fries. They're still called "freedom fries" in Okla-damn-homa.

Wing Stop (Rick Ross) Memphis, Tennessee. Ross suffered two seizures before the grand opening of the franchise, but still managed to make it to the ceremony. He tweeted this picture -- look hard and you can see his sling.

Sugar Bar (Ashford and Simpson) Even though Sugar Bar has been in business since 1996, we think they might be in need of new management. According to the website, Nick Ashford performs every Tuesday night. The bar was founded by the late Ashford and wife Valerie Simpson and serves drinks and desserts to the Upper West Side of New York City. The bar is famous for its open mic nights, showcasing local and national R&B, jazz, and soul acts.

40/40 (Jay-Z) The rapper opened his first sports bar in New York City in 2003. Since then, he's expanded to two other locations in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Las Vegas. Although Jigga is an incredibly successful entrepreneur, he's been in a bit of trouble because of 40/40. His Las Vegas location closed only eight months after its grand opening. Also, employees at the New York location filed suit against the company for not distributing their paychecks. Jay-Z's defense attorney at the time later filed suit against him for not paying him for his services during the trial.

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Allison Wagoner