Flavor Flav closes fried chicken restaurant after feathers ruffled

Friday 29 April 2011 00:00 BST

A fried chicken restaurant founded by the flamboyant American rapper-turned-reality TV star Flavor Flav has closed down after just four months.

Flav's Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, shuttered its doors Sunday following a string of accusations that included bounced checks, employees being stiffed of their pay, and expired food.

Flavor Flav pulled out of the business venture - which was supposed to be the start of a fried chicken franchise - after the business relationship with restaurant manager Nick Cimino quickly turned sour and disintegrated into a war of words.

In addition to being disgruntled with Cimino's management, the Public Enemy rapper told celebrity tracker TMZ that he also discovered the restaurant was serving expired potato salad.

"Let me be straight up with you, I went up inside there on April 2 and I found potato salad that expired on February 28," he told TMZ. "And it's then when I realized I can't do business with this man and I really hope no one ate those potatoes."

Employees also complained that their paychecks were bouncing.

Cimino, meanwhile, called Flavor Flav a "fraud" who was trying to get rich off of his ideas and work, he told the local TV station WQAD-TV.

Despite his failed venture in Iowa, the aspiring restaurateur is still pursuing other projects, including Flavor Flav's House of Flavor at The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, slated to open May 30. In addition to a fried chicken restaurant, the venue will also house a memorabilia shop and a recording studio.

Flav, who in recent years returned to the spotlight as a star of VH1's The Surreal Life, grew up in the restaurant business as his father owned a greasy spoon called the Soul Diner.

Before he shot to fame as a member of Public Enemy, he graduated from cooking school in 1978 and worked as head chef in several kitchens.

He says he's spent years developing his own fried chicken recipe with his own secret rub of spices. Flavor Flav's Chicken was to be known by its short form, FFC.

Flavor Flav is just one of several artists and musicians who have parlayed their brand and name into the fried chicken business. R & B soul singer Gladys Knight opened Gladys and Ron's Chicken & Waffles in Atlanta, which serves the Harlem specialty alongside southern-style foods.

Country music crooner Kenny Rogers, meanwhile, has a string of roast chicken restaurants Kenny Rogers Roasters, which now mainly operate in Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, China, Bahrain, Indonesia, Mongolia and the Philippines.

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