Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz will be opening multiple locations of his trendy Esco restaurant all throughout the country, creating a movement inspired by the success of his three spots in the Peachtree City.
Born Tauheed Epps and a one-time college athlete, 2 Chainz (then known as Tity Boi) gained recognition and scored his first major hit, “Duffle Bag Boy,” in 2007 as one half of hip-hop duo Playaz Circle. By 2011, he rebranded himself as 2 Chainz and was lending feature versus to Jason Derulo, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Eminem while putting out 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 co-founder Snoop Dillard, who graduated from Vanderbilt University at 20 and got her start as a financial adviser and real estate investor, opened her first lounge in Nashville, Tennessee, when she was 24. She moved to Atlanta and was operating the Hookah Hideaway when her path crossed with 2 Chainz.
After meeting and hitting it off, the two created Escobar Restaurant & Tapas, which they opened in 2016. While they can still use the Escobar name for their corporate restaurants, they’re franchising the concept as Esco after settling for $15,000 a lawsuit in 2020 brought by the family of Pablo Escobar following a dispute over the Colombian drug kingpin’s intellectual property rights.
Their first franchisee, Jessica Shinholster, signed to open a location in Columbus, Ohio, and Dillard said they’re 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, is also franchising her salon suite concept, Remedy. She opened the first Remedy in Atlanta in 2018 and has since added two more company locations in the city. The franchise program launched in fall 2021, with franchisees signed in Chicago and Atlanta.