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, stoner-friendly dishes — a smart move for the Illinois market if the state’s record-breaking $61 million in recreational weed sales in July are anything to go by — 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 and 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 (guess who) 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.
HotBox by Wiz, scheduled for an October 1 opening for delivery only.