As Georgia Governor Brian Kemp permits gyms, hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, and bowling alleys to reopen on Friday — with theaters, social clubs, and restaurants reopening on April 27 — one notable name in the state will be looking to follow the controversial decision to relax restrictions.
Rapper 2 Chainz will return to allowing guests to dine-in at his two Escobar Restaurant and Tapas locations in Atlanta beginning Monday, per TMZ. Speaking to the media outlet, Snoop Dillard, 2 Chainz’s business partner and co-owner of Escobar, made it clear that public safety will be the primary focus in the reopening process.
Georgia’s plan to relax restrictions doesn’t mean businesses will return to business as usual, per a press release from the Office of the Governor. All locations reopening will be subjected to an array of restrictions that include: social distancing, regular sanitation, screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks and gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by at least six feet, teleworking where at all possible, and implementing staggered shifts.
While take-out has been available at Escobar since March 19, the quarantine in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused sales to decrease by 95 percent at both locations in recent weeks. The restaurants have furloughed about 80 percent of their staff. Reintroducing dining-in would allow Escobar to rehire 80 of their employees — or roughly 65 percent of their staffing total prior to the enacted quarantine.
The decision by 2 Chainz — to allow diners to return to Escobar — has captivated some of his fans, particularly after his post on Instagram responding to Kemp’s original announcement. The Atlanta native shared a screenshot of an article on the subject, one simply captioned with an obvious reference to the governor’s political affiliation.
While 2 Chainz hasn’t shared anything on social media regarding Escobar’s planned return to dine-in business, his followers began questioning the decision on the rapper’s most recent Instagram post. Said post was intended to promote a new single from an artist on 2 Chainz’s record label, Skooly.
“Why open your restaurant Escobar on 4/27/20 when black people are dying at a higher rate from Covid-19. Asymptomatic visitors to your restaurant can pass the virus to your staff, who in turn can pass it to their loved ones. Please reconsider,” wrote one user, who signed her comment with a pair of praying hands.
“U need to rethink opening up that restaurant i know ya heart is in the right place wanting to see ya staff work but u will be risking their lives,& health along with ya patrons lives! The experts don’t even know enough about this disease! Plz be smarter,” added another one of the rapper’s followers.
2 Chainz has been involved with Escobar’s since 2016, when he opened the first location in downtown Atlanta