by Serena Dai

A restaurant inspired by the culinary ideas of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur is popping up in New York City this weekend. The Lower East Side location of Southern restaurant Sweet Chick will transform into Powamekka Cafe, a restaurant based on notes that the artist wrote before dying more than 20 years ago.

Sweet Chick at 178 Ludlow Street will become the 2Pac-inspired “down home Southern” restaurant this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It’s being run by the estate of the artist, in collaboration with merchandising company Bravado, a Universal Music Groups brand. As such, Tupac memorabilia will be on display, including a collection of the artist’s childhood photos, his poetry, and some items from his favorite artists. Also expect clothing and other merch to be for sale.

The menu will be a collection of Tupac’s favorite foods, including meatloaf, gumbo, and “his cousin Jamala’s fried chicken wings,” according to a statement from the estate. All of it will be based on sketches and menu ideas that Tupac wrote down before his death for a restaurant that would be a place for friends to “escape the worldz cold reality.”

A sketch from Tupac’s notebook about the restaurant Powamekka Cafe

If history is any indication, it’s likely to be a madhouse. When a tribute cafe popped up in Fresno, California last September in honor of the 20th anniversary of his death, hundreds of people waited in line to check it out. Some people waited as long as three hours, and food ran out. That particular one night pop-up was run by the restaurant itself, fast-casual spot Take 3.

 It’s no surprise that Tupac’s estate and a music merchandising company would see the opportunity to do one, too. “It’s our duty to create opportunities for our artists to fulfill their creative vision and give their fans new ways to engage with them and their music,” the CEO at Bravado said in a statement. (Translation: This is probably a great chance to sell a ton of t-shirts.)

Sweet Chick is no stranger to the hip-hop world, either. Rapper Nas is an investor in the restaurant, and owner John Seymour has long touted the hip-hop influence on the mini-restaurant chain.

Powamekka Cafe will be popping up from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, April 7 and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday to Sunday, April 8 to 9 at only the Lower East Side location of Sweet Chick. Luckily, unlike the Fresno pop-up, you have a chance to make a reservation online to attend.

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