Don Pooh Talks Jay-Z/Nas, Foxy Brown, His Move To Brooklyn Chop House, And His Return To Music

Don Ourson is a member of a special club. He’s more than the man who discovered Foxy Brown and worked extensively on The Notorious BIG’s management team. The Brooklyn native is more than the executive who worked to deliver one of Mary J. Blige’s magnum opuses, No More Drama, or the guy who worked with both Jay-Z and Nas. Robert Cummins, his name in government, defined his second act on his own terms in the early 2000s when so many professionals declined. This club of music industry survivors is a special breed that has mastered reinvention through rugged individualism, intensity and ingenuity.

Before closing this chapter of music, he simultaneously started again as a restaurateur specializing in the hotel industry. His new journey began in the early 2000s when he began franchising Papa John’s pizzerias and IHOP creperies in Brooklyn. Instead of sticking to the script, he tailored the businesses to the local community. For example, an IHOP had a VIP room with many artistic nods to BK. In 2018, Stratis Morfogen, Don Pooh and David Thomas launched Brooklyn Chop House in downtown Manhattan, just across the famous bridge. The location quickly became a hot spot that paved the way for a second Times Square location this year. The downtown location is a huge space, seating 660 guests on five levels, with six private dining rooms, three bars, and a rooftop. The menu is a foodie’s dream and includes the famous lobster, steak, duck, lamb and a wide range of delicacies.

When Don Pooh arrives, fresh from a birthday vacation in Italy, he’s in full bump mode with a big Rolls Royce truck to match. He’s clearly proud and he should be, speaking humbly of his phoenix-like rise. He talks to AllHipHop about his success, struggles, and triumphs in both industries. He dives deep into his rap side and his restaurant side as well, going through a heated conversation with Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur.

Photos: Patrick Neree

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