Ludacris isn't putting all his talents into one basket. Over the years, the Atlanta rapper has been busy diving into other ventures such as acting, promoting his Conjure liquor brand, releasing his line of Soul by Ludacris headphones, and his recent launch of Karma's World, a children's education website created with his 10-year-old daughter.
Ludacris also joined the restaurant business after meeting Chef Chris Yeo and partnering up with him to open up Straits Atlanta in 2007. The downtown Atlanta hot spot has since been drumming up plenty of business with its Asian fusion cuisine.
"Man, it’s some of my favorite food and I never want to be typical," Ludacris tells BlackEnterprise.com. "People think if I open a restaurant that it’s automatically going to be soul food. I love to throw curve balls to people all the time; I love to be different, I strive for excellence. Atlanta is just one of these places where it’s a melting pot when it comes to so many different cultures and styles, and I just wanted to play towards that because people appreciate good food and with a little bit of an ethnic twist to it."
Chef Yeo met Luda at a Ludacris Foundation event and the two hit it off with their mutual love for Singaporean food. They then decided to convert Luda's recently-purchased 5,170 square-foot space into Straits Atlanta. The restaurant not only offers creative dishes like the signature Kung Pao chicken lollipops, but the entertainment is just as fun as its menu. Events with live bands and an upbeat atmosphere keep drawing in the crowds time and time again.
"Just have your heart in it. Don’t think that you’re not going to have to put work in and be there every day," Ludacris advises to aspiring restaurateurs. "Having a restaurant is something that you have to be 100% invested in and it’s important that you look at your location and know your neighborhood. It’s definitely one of the those things where to stay afloat, you might have to change the menu up a couple times to make sure you’re getting it to your customers’ liking ... It’s just one of those things where you have to be 100% invested in it."
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