Everyone knows that Ludacris can rap and act, but few people know that he also runs a very successful Singaporean restaurant. Luda opened his restaurant, Straits Atlanta, in 2007 and raised a few eyebrows when he announced that it would serve Singaporean cuisine, which happens to be the rapper’s favorite. Black Enterprise caught up Luda to talk about the restaurant and it’s success. Read what he said about it after the jump.
How did you decide on Singaporean cuisine being the basis of your restaurantâ€™s menu?
Man, itâ€™s some of my favorite food and I never want to be typical. People think if I open a restaurant that itâ€™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 itâ€™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.
Just traveling all over the world and, like I said, taking some of my personal experiences and things that I love and bringing them to the city that I love and I partnered with someone who has a love and interest for [it as well]. My business partner [Chef Yeo] and I met at a foundation event so we both had that in common and got to talking and one thing led to another and we decided to go ahead and do this restaurant here in Atlanta, GA.
His Feelings on the Restaurantâ€™s Success
Itâ€™s coming to the point where itâ€™s a staple in Atlanta, GA and Iâ€™m just very proud of that. We have different nights where we have a live band and we have a Tuesday night [event] weâ€™ve had going on for three years now which is basically an industry elite kind of trendsetterâ€™s night and Iâ€™m just very happy. We have repeat customers and we have people who just love the food and they love the atmosphere and they love the ambiance.
Advice for Aspiring Restauranteurs
Just have your heart in it. Donâ€™t think that youâ€™re not going to have to put work in and be there every day. Having a restaurant is something that you have to be 100% invested in and itâ€™s important that you look at your location and know your neighborhood. Itâ€™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 youâ€™re getting it to your customersâ€™ likingâ€¦ Itâ€™s just one of those things where you have to be 100% invested in it.