Atlanta rappers T.I. and Killer Mike have teamed up to revive a historic seafood restaurant in northwest Atlanta, 11Alive reports. The rappers have reportedly filed for documents to rebuild and reopen Bankhead Seafood restaurant.
The restaurant was first opened in 1968 on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway before it was closed in 2018. The rappers had planned to rebuild the restaurant in 2020 but COVID-19 derailed their plans although they purchased the property in 2018.
The rappers, who have been childhood friends, did not only purchase the property but the name, trademark and recipes. Killer Mike had in the past said two locals owning Bankhead Seafood would be an example of how historically Black neighborhoods can preserve their legacies in the face of gentrification.
“It’s bigger than selling fish,” he said, according to Atlanta Business Chronicle. “This is about, this community has produced business people that are reinvesting in this community. If you want to stop gentrification, you don’t stop outside folks from coming in. You grow your own people to reinvest.”
The historic restaurant was shut down due to a lack of manpower, according to the owner. “I felt like I wasn’t doing my customers a good service when they wait a little longer than they used to have,” Helen Harden told 11Alive.
The renovation will cost T.I. and Killer Mike nearly $2 million and according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the parking lot alone will cost around $185,000.
In an interview with WSB-TV, Killer Mike said the restaurant has been a part of his life for decades. “It’s been a part of my life as long as I’ve been on earth,” said the rapper, whose real name is Michael Render. “If you’re writing a show or a book about Michael Render and his family, (Bankhead Seafood) would definitely be one of the characters.”
Customers can look forward to a classic menu and recipes, like the famous fried fish, alcoholic beverages, and biscuits among others when the restaurant finally reopens.