MIAMI, Fla. -

During the lean years, hip-hop star Pitbull joked to a Miami Subs restaurant manager that one day he would own the place.

Now he does, or part of it. Pitbull, also known as Armando Christian Perez, announced this week he is helping revive the once ubiquitous South Florida chain under the name of The New Miami Subs Grill.

The Miami-based rapper said Tuesday he has bought a significant share in the company. The original chain had 200 restaurants during its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s. But it languished after founder Gus Boulis sold the company. Boulis was also a casino boat owner, and was murdered in 2001.

The new company is based in Fort Lauderdale. It is already planning to open its first Latin American restaurants in Guyana.