Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz adds ‘franchisor’ to resume with restaurant Esco | Franchise News

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2 Chainz may be the Grammy-winning rapper, but it’s his business partner, Mychel “Snoop” Dillard, who he calls “a celebrity to me personally.”

“She’s smart as a whip,” said Dillard’s 2 Chainz, CEO of Dillard Hospitality and co-creator of the couple’s Esco restaurant concept, now with three locations in Atlanta and its first signed franchise agreement.

“She is one of the people who really eased my transition into this hospitality space because originally my introduction to the space was real estate. I own properties and land and stuff like that,” he said. “So it merged with his passion and mine and made me feel very comfortable in this space that has been going on for six years now.”

Born Tauheed Epps and former college athlete, 2 Chainz (then known as Tity Boi) gained recognition and scored his first big hit, “Duffle Bag Boy,” in 2007 as one half of hip-hop duo Playaz Circle. . In 2011, it renamed itself 2 Chainz and loaned feature films to Jason Derulo, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Eminem while releasing studio albums with Def Jam Recordings. He won a Grammy in 2017 for Best Rap Performance as a featured artist on Chance the Rapper’s single “No Problem.”






Esco, says co-founder Snoop Dillard, serves “a lot of things you might not see in restaurants late at night,” like lobster tail.


Dillard, who graduated from Vanderbilt University at 20 and got her start as a financial adviser and real estate investor, opened her first salon in Nashville, Tennessee, when she was 24. She moved to Atlanta and was operating the Hookah Hideaway when her paths crossed. with 2 chains.

“I’ve always wanted to own something on Peters Street,” she said, because “it’s a really poppin’ neighborhood.” The site she wanted, 327 Peters St. SW, was one of 2 Chainz’s properties, and after meeting and hitting it off, the two created Escobar Restaurant & Tapas, which they opened in 2016. Although they can still use the Escobar name for their company restaurants, they franchise the concept under the Esco name after settling a lawsuit filed in 2020 by the family of Pablo Escobar over $15,000. of a dispute over the intellectual property rights of the Colombian drug leader.

2 Chainz described Esco this way: “It’s more lounge with good food and a good atmosphere. Of course, we have the best drinks in town. We also have hookahs that attract pretty women, that attract playa guys,” he said of the after-10 p.m. nightlife vibe.

“We’re a restaurant by day, a salon by night,” Dillard said. “It’s the culture we create.” The food menu, she noted, includes “a lot of things you might not see in restaurants late at night,” like lobster tail, lamb chops and catfish. blackened topped with crabmeat.

2 Chainz, she continued, “brings a lot of unique ideas to the table,” like using the front of a golden Mercedes Benz as a DJ booth, and puts its marketing power behind the brand. “There’s a great level of trust between us,” she said.

Their first franchisee, Jessica Shinholster, signed on to open a location in Columbus, Ohio, and Dillard said they were finalizing deals in Dallas and Memphis, Tennessee.

Dillard, whose other ventures include a party bus rental company in Atlanta and a cannabis dispensary in Los Angeles, also franchises his salon suite concept, Remedy. “I like to keep a diversified portfolio,” she said. She opened the first Remedy in Atlanta in 2018 and has since added two more corporate locations in the city. The franchise program launched in fall 2021, with franchisees signed in Chicago and Atlanta.

Like others in the segment such as Sola Salon Studios, Phenix Salon Suites and My Salon Suite, Remedy rents out individual spaces to stylists and other beauty professionals. Dillard’s concept also includes spaces dedicated to spa treatments. She noted that the footprint may be smaller than some of its competitors, with space for 22 suites compared to more than 40 at others, making Remedy “a bit cheaper” for franchisees.

The franchise fee is $20,000 “and you can usually open for less than $100,000,” she said.

Read more about 2 Chainz and its partnership with fellow restaurant franchise, Krystal, in the September issue of Franchise Times.

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