ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has learned that a restaurant owned by Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has been cited by the state for violating social distancing guidelines.
According to an incident report from the Department of Public Safety, a manager for Escobar Restaurant and Tapas was cited after public safety officials received complaints that there were too many people inside the restaurant and bar, violating the state’s executive orders over coronavirus.
DPS said it responded to the first complaint just after midnight on Saturday after people called them saying that the restaurant and bar were too full.
“When I enter the establishment, the entire facility was full of patrons, shoulder to shoulder, and was unable to enter safely,” the DPS officer wrote in the incident report.
The public safety officer said he gave a warning to the manager on duty that night and the manager had everyone leave for the evening.
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The next night, DPS said it received another social distancing complaint for Escobar.
“Once I entered the facility, I observed the same violations as I did when the warning was issued,” the officer wrote in the incident report.
The on-duty manager, Rasheed Gaines, had security make everyone leave, and the DPS officer cited Gaines for violating the state’s executive order.
“When speaking to Mr. Gaines, he was aware of my previous warning as he was at the location the time it was given,” the DPS officer said in the report.
Escobar Restaurant and Tapas is owned by Tauheed “2 Chainz” Epps and Mychel “Snoop” Dillard and is located in Atlanta’s Castleberry Hills neighborhood near Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena.
Epps delayed the reopening of the restaurant when Gov. Brian Kemp originally announced that dine-in service could restart. He originally was going to reopen at that time but opted to hold off.
He also contacted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to tell her about the decision. Bottoms spoke about it on the Tamron Hall Show last month.
“I know that 2Chainz and his wife, Keisha, have a loving heart for a community which is unparalleled. For them, you’re talking about laying off 80% of his employees,” Bottoms said. “I was so glad that he reached out to me and told me that he would not be opening, because he is listening to reason and logic. What he is saying is, ‘I’m not going to risk putting my employees in harm’s way because we are opening up too soon.’”
Instead of reopening right away, Epps helped feed the area’s homeless.
The restaurant later reopened after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new executive order that said restaurants could have limited dine-in service and allowed up to 10 people at one table. The order also said occupancy was limited to 10 people for every 300 square feet inside the restaurant.
According to its website, Escobar features “a beautiful bar, elegant lounging, and a menu featuring a choice wine and champagne selection, innovative cocktails, craft beers and undoubtedly the most desired tapas and entrees.”
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