2 Chainz’s plans to expand his Esco Restuarant and Tapas chain are officially underway, after settling a lawsuit with the family of late notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. The rapper, who launched the first of three Esco Restaurant And Tapas locations in Georgia in 2016, credited his business partner Mychel “Snoop” Dillard with assisting him in launching the endeavor.
“[Dillard’s] one of the people that really made my transition into this hospitality space easier because originally my introduction to the space was real estate,” Chainz told the Franchise Times. “I own properties and dirt and stuff like that. So that merged with her passion and mine and made me very comfortable in this space going on six years now.”
In June 2020, AllHipHop reported that 2 Chainz and Dillard were hit with a lawsuit by Escobar Inc., a company established by Escobar’s brother. The suit was filed in the state of Georgia and accused Escobar Restaurant And Tapas of using Escobar’s name and likeness at each of its locations, as well as on its websites, social media accounts, and merchandise. Escobar Inc., which also filed an injunction against 2 Chainz and Dillard, sought out $10 million in damages due to the restaurant’s usage of Escobar’s intellectual property.
In November 2020, 2 Chainz, Dillard, and Escobar Inc. began settlement talks, with both sides ultimately deciding to settle out of court. Escobar Inc. received a reported $15,000 from Chainz and Dillard under the terms of the agreement.
Esco Restuarant and Tapas‘s first franchisee has signed on to open a location in Columbus, Ohio. Dillard shared that they’re finalizing deals to open additional locations in Dallas and Memphis.
2 Chainz recently made headlines after speaking out against a proposed noise ordinance during a city council meeting in his hometown of Atlanta. The bill, which was derided as being biased against Black-owned establishments, also saw opposition from rapper Killer Mike, as well as the father of incarcerated rapper Young Thug.