Power Players

The sweet, sentimental reason 'Black Panther' star Michael B. Jordan opened a rum bar

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Here's why 'Black Panther' star Michael B. Jordan invests in rum

Michael B. Jordan is best known for his role as Erik Killmonger in "Black Panther," but he's also a self-professed "rum guy."

Jordan, 32, has various business projects besides acting, and one that's close to his heart is his role as an investor in a New York City rum lounge called Las' Lap.

His involvement is sentimental.

"I used to help my grandmother make rum cakes," Jordan tells CNBC Make It. "And so rum cakes is very big in my family, it's big in my childhood."

Jordan, who grew up in Newark, New Jersey, vividly remembers helping his grandma carry groceries home to make the cakes, he told BET.com, and the haul included two gallons of Bacardi Gold rum — a company with which he now has a partnership.

"So now that I'm older, I invested in a rum bar with my best friends," he tells CNBC Make It. The bar and restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side specializes in rum drinks and has Caribbean-inspired food like jerk chicken spring rolls.

Family is important to Jordan — his parents, Michael A. and Donna Jordan, and his younger brother Khalid, live with him in his Sherman Oaks, California home, and he took his mom to the Oscars on Feb. 24, where "Black Panther" was nominated for several awards, including Best Picture.

Donna Jordan and Michael B. Jordan attend the 91st Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Frazer Harrison | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

According to Vanity Fair, Jordan's parents "remain deeply engaged in his career and life. When he holds business meetings at the house, his father will come in with a plate of sandwiches."

When it comes to business, Jordan makes sure to spend his time and money on people and projects that are meaningful to him, he tells CNBC Make It. But just because your heart is involved doesn't mean you shouldn't use your head too, he says.

"I think you've got to kind of balance it out: You definitely have to make sure your heart is in the right place, but at the same time, you have to make business sense and smart business decisions also," he says.

Besides Las' Lap, Jordan has production company Outlier Society Productions, a marketing and consulting start-up and several partnerships with brands.

But he says, "You can't do everything. You have to be selective. You want to build your brand in a very prestigious way, that's what I'm going for."

Don't miss: 'Black Panther' star Michael B. Jordan on success: 'You're defined by what you say no to'

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