Dining: Wiz Khal­ifa to de­but Chicago restau­rant

Chicago Sun-Times - - TASTE - BY NAOMI WAXMAN Eater Chicago HotBox by Wiz, sched­uled for an Oc­to­ber 1 open­ing for de­liv­ery only. Orig­i­nally pub­lished on chicago.eater.com.

Rap­per Wiz Khal­ifa will add restau­rant op­er­a­tor to his reper­toire this fall with the launch of HotBox by Wiz, slated to open in Chicago on Oc­to­ber 1 in Chicago, as well as cities in­clud­ing Los An­ge­les, Hous­ton and New York City, ac­cord­ing to a news release. Khal­ifa’s new de­liv­ery-only ven­ture will fea­ture in­dul­gent dishes named with punny twists on the rap­per’s big­gest hits and lots of pot ref­er­ences.

The 32-year-old Khal­ifa is known for hits like “Say Yeah.” He is also a mil­lion­aire thanks to his own strain of mar­i­juana which is named af­ter him­self. Three years ago, the Pittsburgh na­tive also en­gaged in a bizarre beef with Chicago na­tive Kanye West.

A full menu isn’t yet avail­able, but fans can an­tic­i­pate “Blazed Ends,” or those crispy bits of burnt brisket served with bar­be­cue sauces, a “Tay­lor Gang Turkey Burger” (let­tuce, tomato, onion, mayo, side of chips), a “Mac& Yel­low” mac and cheese, and a cannabis-free “Mile High Dark Choco­late Brownie.”

The “munchie menu” will be avail­able via third-party de­liv­ery apps in­clud­ing Uber Eats, DoorDash, Post­mates and Grub­hub. The brand will also be of­fered in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Den­ver, Wash­ing­ton D.C, and In­di­anapo­lis.

HotBox by Wiz, how­ever, seems specif­i­cally geared for 2020 with a de­liv­ery-only model that’s be­come pop­u­lar among mu­si­cians, Eater LA points out. No­table brands in­clude Aoki Pizza from Steve Aoki, Tyga Bites from Tyga, and Howlin’ Ray’s Post­mates app-bust­ing part­ner­ship with Post Malone.

Khal­ifa isn’t the first rap­per, DJ, or mu­si­cian to set up shop in Chicago: hip-hop artist DJ Khaled lured long lines of fans to the West Side when he opened a lo­ca­tion of the Lick­ing, his Mi­ami based soul food chain, in 2019.

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick is the co-owner of Wicker Park’s pop­u­lar Piece Brewery and Pizze­ria, and the es­tate of the late Grate­ful Dead gui­tarist Jerry Gar­cia is at work on Gar­cias, a forth­com­ing West Loop bar, restau­rant, and mu­sic venue.

Will­mette na­tive and Fall­out Boy singer Pete Wentz op­er­ated River North club An­gels & Kings for four years in the Hard Rock Ho­tel.

Even the sub­urbs got a slice of the ac­tion — Smash­ing Pump­kins front­man Billy Cor­gan op­er­ated a tea shop and ve­gan cafe called Madame ZuZu’s for six years in sub­ur­ban High­land Park.

DIA DI­PA­SUPIL/GETTY IM­AGES

Rap­per Wiz Khal­ifa plans to launch Hotbox by Wiz in Oc­to­ber.

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