Inside a Pop-Up Café Inspired by Tupac Shakur

For one weekend, New York soul food restaurant Sweet Chick was transformed into Tupac's Powamekka Café.

By Ian Zelaya April 12, 2017, 7:30 AM EDT

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for the Estate of Tupac Shakur

Along with being a rapper, record producer, actor, and an activist, Tupac Shakur also had a vision to be a restaurant owner. More than 20 years after the late West Coast creator came up with the idea for the Powamekka Café, his vision for a Southern comfort restaurant was brought to life in New York.

The Estate of Tupac Shakur partnered with John Seymour, founder of Lower East Side soul food restaurant Sweet Chick, and Bravado, Universal Music Group's merchandise and brand management company, to host the Powamekka Café pop-up from April 7 to 9. Inspired by Shakur's idea found in three pages of his notebook, the pop-up invited fans to enjoy food inspired by the rapper's concept and showcased Tupac-inspired art, personal photos from his childhood, his poetry, and music memorabilia from his favorite artists.

“Tupac’s creative vision was limitless. He was constantly working on ideas and plans that reached far beyond music and film,” said Tom Whalley, trustee of the Estate of Tupac Shakur, in a release. “One of the things he was extremely passionate about was opening a restaurant; he even sketched out plans and a concept for a menu. We are proud to bring Tupac's Powamekka Café to life.”

The event also gave guests a preview of Bravado's new limited-edition Tupac by Vlone apparel and merchandise collection. “Tupac continues to impact music, art, fashion, and culture around the world, and Powamekka Café will offer his fans a new and personal way to reconnect with him through his passion for food and the restaurant he dreamed of opening,” said Bravado C.E.O. Mat Vlasic in a statement. “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. We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with Tom and the estate to bring Powamekka Café to Tupac’s fans, family, and friends.”

The food, which was provided by Sweet Chick, included chicken and waffles, gumbo, and fried chicken wings inspired by Shakur's cousin Jamala. Fans were able to attend the event by booking reservations exclusively through restaurant technology company Reserve.

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