Does their Star Power carry over to the dinner table?
by Alexander Quebec
Earlier this year, we reported that YouTube chef and personality Ayesha Curry was opening up at Micheal Mina’s test kitchen until the end of summer. Celebrities opening up restaurants is nothing new however, but some find wild success with their ventures, while others may have had to shut down due to lowered than expected business or just simple life plan changes. I was curious about which celebs have owned restaurants and eateries, while there were many of them, I picked out some of our favorite celebs for our list and their restaurants below. Read on reader
Jeri Ryan – Ortolan (Los Angeles, Status: Closed) Trek fans know her as the sexy addition to the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager from Star Trek: Voyager, or you also know her from ABC’s Boston Legal or Body of Proof. What many people don’t know is that one of Jeri’s passions is cooking and fine dining and together with her second husband, Chef Christopher Eme, the two opened up the restaurant Ortolan, named after an unusual french dish involving the bird of the same name, in February of 2005. In spite of it’s success, the restaurant was closed down in 2010.
Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, & Wilder Valderrama – Dolce (Los Angeles, Status: Closed)
When you have three of the four friends from That 70’s Show get together (along with a whole host of other celebs) to create a restaurant, you have no idea what to expect. Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante opened in a non-descript building, offering classic takes on Italian cuisine in a trendy, yet un-fussy setting that was designed by renowned night club designers Mike Malin and Lonnie Moore. The restaurant, however, has since closed down in 2013.
Jennifer Lopez – Madre’s (Pasadena, Status: Closed)
“A family restaurant with a bit of sexiness to it” inspired the look and feel of Madre’s (Spanish for “Mother’s”), a restaurant owned by Jennifer Lopez. Offering both Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine, the place was meant to give a feel of having dinner at your mother’s place, “with good cooking, and it feels nice inside”. After a 6 year run, the place was shut down in 2008
Eva Longoria – Beso (Hollywood, Status: Open)
An avid and reputable cook (amongst those who know her well) Eva Longoria opened up Beso (Spanish for Kiss) in 2008. Featuring a fusion menu with Latin and Middle Eastern influences, all created by Eva and Chef Todd English (himself a celebrity in the culinary world), Beso can and has pulled a high profile celebrity crowd. Those that go there say that the Tortilla soup is a must have while dining there (the recipe was created by none other than Eva herself).
Joe Mantegna – Taste Chicago (Burbank, Status: Open)
Born and raised in Chicago, Joe Mantegna’s Taste Chicago restaurant features classic Chicago specialties. It’s a small, family run (by his wife Arlene) and features the classics like deep dish pizza, Italian beef subs, Annisetta salad and more. Chicago Cubs and White Sox Jerseys line the walls and you can even catch some of their games on their TVs.
Justin Timberlake – Southern Hospitality (New York City, Status: Open)
Justin Timberlake has done it all: Singer, Actor and now restaurateur. Offering authentic, Memphis style BBQ, the place, opened in 2007, has since opened up three locations in Colorado and another two in New York City, alongside the original location in Hell’s Kitchen.
Jay – Z – 40/40 Club (New York City, Status: Open)
The 40/40 club originally referred to an exclusive group of pro baseball players to have ever hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in one season. Hip Hop Mogul and entrepreneur Jay-Z opened up the aptly named Sports Bar/Lounge in 2003. Luxuriously appointed public spaces and private rooms for groups, the place bills itself as the ultimate destination for those wanting a more upscale sports bar experience.
Francis Ford Coppola – Rustic: Francis Favorites (Geyserville, CA, Status: Open)
Famous screenwriter and director Francis Ford Coppola has crafted films that have us talking long after they have been shown in the theaters. What a lot of people outside of California may not know is that he also owns his own winery, which has a restaurant on the premises. On Tuesday evenings, the meals are served “A Tavola”, which means that a traditional menu is not handed out, instead, the chef creates a dish and it is served directly to the table.
Ryan Gosling – Tangine (Beverly Hills, Status: Open)Chef “Ben” Benamuer introduced co-worker Chris Angulo and then rising star Ryan Gosling to the dishes cooked for him by his grandmother growing up in Morocco, with Ryan mentioning that it was “the food I want to eat for the rest of my life”. Since nothing like it existed Los Angles at the time, the three opened up Tangine, featuring the Moroccan food of Chef Ben’s grandmother in an intimate setting, in Beverly Hills. Tangine is also the named of the traditional earthenware dish where most Moroccan dishes are cooked inside of.
And that wraps up our tour of celeb owned restaurants and eateries. We’re sure there are some we missed, and there will no doubt be more celebs opening up restaurants in the future, so let us know about both in the comments below.