Flavor Flav has had a successful career as a rapper and reality television star. Now, he’s expanding his brand to food and drinks.
The entertainer, who has lived in Las Vegas for the past seven years, has launched a signature vodka and said Friday he was on track to open a fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas in February.
Flav, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton, appeared Friday afternoon at Lee’s Discount Liquor at West Lake Mead Boulevard and North Tenaya Way to hawk LeFLAV, the vodka he developed and licensed. He’ll make a similar appearance from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lee’s Discount Liquor at East Flamingo and South Pecos roads.
“This is GS, meaning great stuff,” Flav shouted to a small crowd snapping pictures.
By the time he arrived at the tasting — more than a half-hour late, after driving toward Lake Mead, the body of water, rather than toward the street — half a dozen people had formed a line to buy a bottle of LeFLAV and snag an autograph.
“It goes down nice and smooth but it sneaks back up on you, so drink responsibly,” Flav warned. Then, not wanting to get too bogged down in serious matters, he downed a shot and let out a signature snicker.
Customers at the store peered to see what the fuss was about. Those familiar with Flav’s band, Public Enemy, and his TV show “The Flavor of Love” beamed and shouted “Yeah boyyy!!” — a Flav catch-phrase — at the star. Others looked puzzled and wondered aloud the identity of the man in the white tuxedo, top hat, rhinestone clock pendant and personalized gold grill.
For now, LeFLAV is being sold in liquor stores in Nevada, California, New York and New Jersey. You also can find it in a few Strip resort gift shops. The partners hope to expand the brand to Texas, Florida, Illinois and Georgia early next year, then go national, distributor Tony Capomaccio said.
Flav sampled “Straight Up” plain vodka Friday, but several more flavors are in the works, including bubble gum, grape, hemp juice (“This is Flav we’re talking about,” Capomaccio noted), Cognac, black cherry and vanilla. A line of LeFLAV wines and champagnes will follow.
The bottles, which sell for $23.99 each, feature 4-carat Swarovski crystals on their necks and a black silhouette image of Flav with a white clock necklace.
“This is huge for me, and the hugest part is seeing you people here,” a beaming Flav said, hugging and toasting his audience with rhymes such as “This is a toast to the most ‘cuz you eat pot roast,” and simply, “Cheers, G!”
As for his chicken restaurant, Flav said he expects construction to begin in January and the eatery to open in February. Flav’s Fried Chicken was rumored to be headed to the Riviera but has since relocated to a strip mall at 320 North Nellis Blvd., Flav said.
“I was looking at the Riviera, but now I’m liking somewhere else,” he said. “I love the Riviera, but I feel like this will be a better, longer lasting location.”