NEW YORK — The perks of stardom have always included VIP treatment at your favorite restaurants, but increasingly, being one of hip hop’s top dogs means topping your VIP status by opening an eatery of your very own.
Following in the footsteps of P. Diddy and his Justin’s soul food restaurant chain, Dame Dash, Jay-Z and Fat Joe have joined the restaurateur ranks by opening up supper clubs as well.
Dash recently partnered with socialite/DJ Samantha Ronson to open up the Breakfast Club in downtown Manhattan, while his partner Jay-Z plans to welcome friends and fans into his 40/40 Sports Bar when it opens, tentatively on May 28. His spot will feature a mayor-approved cigar room as well as widescreen televisions.
Further uptown in his home, the Bronx, Fat Joe has joined forces with successful restaurant owner and longtime friend Jimmy Rodriguez to open a seafood spot this summer, to be named Jimmy’s City Island.
While the spacious white-draped restaurant will boast what’s being called Fat Joe’s Corner, which will have a special table for its co-owner, the rotund rapper told MTV News that he will soon have another piece of prime New York real estate to call his own. Joe has bought a space in Manhattan for a future nightclub that he promises will be like “a modern-day Studio 54.”
The interior will be designed by Ilan Waisbrod, the architect behind Michael Jordan’s Grand Central Station steakhouse and a number of Jimmy’s restaurants, such as Fat Joe’s City Island project. While Joe and Co. had originally planned to call the club the 30/30 Club, in reference to its street address, upon learning that Jay-Z’s club was similarly titled, the rapper conceded that he would go back to the drawing board for a suitably festive new name.
His as-yet-untitled nightclub is expected to open later this year.