Rapper 2 Chainz plans to reopen his Atlanta eateries for sit-down service next week amid a deadly pandemic, killing thousands of Americans.
Starting on Monday, both of his spots, Escobar Restaurant and Tapas, will invite the public in for meals, TMZ reports. Both restaurants were solely doing take-out service during statewide “stay at home orders,” but since Georgia Governor Brian Kemp gave the greenlight to reopen barbershops, gyms, bowling alleys and nail salons as early as Friday, 2 Chainz and his business partner and co-owner Snoop Dillard are following Kemp’s lead.
The owners told TMZ that sales were down “95 percent during the shutdown” at both locations and they were “forced to furlough about 80 percent of its staff.” Now that they plan to re-open with 80 people back at work.
The two said they plan to make safety a top priority for customers and staff. Understanding that they must adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing rules, 2 Chainz and Dillard told TMZ that gloves would be mandatory for all staff, cooks had to wear masks, single-use paper menus would be available and staff would have their temperatures checked upon arrival. If any worker shows up with symptoms associated with COVID-19, they would be sent home and asked to quarantine for two weeks.
Live DJs will also return to Escobar and Tapas on weekends, along with sanitized hookahs.
While everyone wants some semblance of normalcy, experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s lead authority on infection diseases, warn that it’s too soon to get back to business as usual at restaurants, salons and movie theaters. Opening up Georgia’s economy too soon could people at risk for another round of infections.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms sides with Fauci, saying she’s “dumbfounded” by Kemp’s decision to reopen his business in the middle of a pandemic.
“People are ready to get out, but we have to be responsible,” Bottoms told TMZ during an exclusive video interview. “There’s no way you can socially distance when you are cutting someone’s hair or if you are giving them a massage.”
During the pandemic, 2 Chainz and Snoop donated hundreds of meals to healthcare workers and they plan to provide more free meals to the Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.