Sweet Chick, a New York City restaurant specializing in chicken and waffles, has teamed with local rap legend Nas to help boost the brand to the national stage. Co-owner John Seymour made the announcement at a one-year anniversary party for the restaurant's second location, on Manhattan's Lower East Side (the original is in Brooklyn).
"As we continue to grow and develop the Sweet Chick brand, we want to align with partners and artists that understand what we represent," Seymour said in a statement. "When conceptualizing Sweet Chick, we understood the history of chicken & waffles and wanted to have an amazing product while paying homage to its roots within the music community of NYC."
Seymour then emphasized music's influence on the burgeoning chain, calling it a "dream come true" to have his favorite rapper on board. "We can truly move forward with a 'NY state of Mind' and introduce Sweet Chick to a bigger audience," he said. "We look to expand in the next year or so."
The Nas connection came about after his partner at Mass Appeal, Peter Bittenbender, met Seymour earlier this year and began discussing ways to build the brand. "Nas was a natural fit to join the team as he immediately embraced the food and culture of Sweet Chick and saw the opportunity to strategically expand the brand nationally," Bittenbender told Billboard.
Bittenbender said they're working on closing a round of funding to help in Sweet Chick's expansion, which he believes will likely produce a new location in Queens, where Nas grew up. He said the partners are also eyeing various spots along the east coast, such as Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta, as well as Los Angeles.
Since opening its doors in early 2013, Sweet Chick has garnered a good deal of attention for its "American cuisine with a Southern accent," especially those aforementioned chicken and waffles. An "organic relationship with hip-hop" has emerged, Bittenbender said, leading to pop-up performance by Slick Rick and Mobb Deep, among others. Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon performed at a first anniversary party for its Brooklyn locale and, earlier this year, Seymour teamed with Joey Bada$$ to put his own spin on the signature dish in a video for First We Feast.
Additional reporting by Andrew Flanagan.