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A Conversation With Flavor Flav, Fast Food Entrepreneur

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It will most assuredly take a nation of millions to hold hungry Las Vegans back when Flavor Flav's House of Flavor Take-Out Restaurant opens its doors on March 15.

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It will most assuredly take a nation of millions to hold hungry Las Vegans back when Flavor Flav's House of Flavor Take Out Restaurant opens its doors on March 15.

"Flavor Flav's House of Flavor will be one of the only soul food take out restaurants here in Las Vegas," Flav told me in a telephone interview. "I think it's gonna do pretty good because it's the only one of its kind right now."

Nor is the former Public Enemy hype man, sometime reality show star, and serial entrepreneur (Le Flav "Straight Up Vodka" is available in Nevada, New York, New Jersey, and California, and, according to LeFlav.com, Flavor Flav is "working on getting my Bubba Gum & Grape Vodka bottled and working on new flavors") concerned about the unpredictable commodity prices that have squeezed others in the restaurant industry (According to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald's (MCD) expects commodity costs to rise 4.5% to 5.5% in the US this year, and Jack in the Box (JACK) saw food costs rise 8% in Q4.)


Chicken wings, spot price. Click to enlarge

"Rising prices? No effect at all," Flav said. "I ain't gonna lie, no matter how high priced the chicken is, if they want to eat it, they gotta buy it at whatever price it is. It ain't affecting us right now."

The House of Flavor may not be affected by the Burger King location directly next door, either.


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Though Flav's Fried Chicken – Flavor Flav's last venture in Clinton, Iowa – shut its doors after just four months, he quickly points out that it was not due to competition from the neighboring KFC (YUM) franchise.



And Flav was not an absentee owner who let the operation get out of control.

"I want to be known as up in my spot. Active....You're going to catch me in here, seasoning up my chicken, flouring up my chicken, frying up my chicken," he told reporters at the time.

"I had to shut that business because of inconsistencies," Flav explained to me. "You know, also the business wasn't being ran right, so I had to shut it down."

Indeed, Flav's Fried Chicken wasn't being ran right – in an interview with local ABC (DIS) affiliate WQAD, Flav blamed the restaurant's failure squarely on partner Nick Cimino.

"The reason I pulled the license was because there's a lot of employees that weren't getting paid," Flav said.

Finding potato salad with an expiration date of February 28 on an April 2 visit to the restaurant also didn't help matters.

"[I]t's then when I realized I can't do business with this man, and I really hope no one ate those potatoes," he told TMZ.

With his payroll and food handling issues firmly behind him, Flavor Flav – who, in fact, has a culinary degree – is prepared to peacefully co-exist with the other, more established names in the chicken business.

"I'm about to take this planet and turn it golden brown with my chicken," Flav said. "But honestly, to tell you the truth, I'm not trying to take anything from any of the big players," Flav said. "I'm just trying to build up my own and be one of the big players. I'm just trying to outdo myself."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 6:30 p.m. on March 15 at 3333 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada. And bring your camera – reps for Flav note that "Patrons of the House of Flavor might also expect celebrity sightings."
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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