Celebrities seek success in the restaurant industry

Hailey Edelstein ('12)/ Eastside Online News Editor

Celebrities make movies, music, TV-shows, books and so many other forms of art and entertainment. Now, they’ve moved into the culinary arts—celebrities are opening their own restaurants all over the world. According to msnbc.com, “the sense of accomplishment brought by entrepreneurship attracts even celebrities,” said Annika Stensson of the National Restaurant Association.

Actually, this sudden desire to make a restaurant started in the early 1990s when Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis launched the famous restaurant chain, Planet Hollywood. Although Schwarzenegger stopped his involvement in the chain back in 2000, the investment proved to be successful, as Planet Hollywood’s popularity has grown tremendously over the past few years.

Many celebrities admit that the only reason for opening a restaurant is just for fun and to create a place that completely fits his/her taste. According to cnn.com, many celebrity-owned restaurants are based on the food the owner grew up with or has just begun to love from travels around the world.

Music artist, Justin Timberlake is a perfect example of this. He launched the restaurant Southern Hospitality in New York in 2007. Southern Hospitality serves all kinds of “comfort food,” including ribs, burgers and fried chicken. According to virginmedia.com, Timberlake “missed food like Granny used to make” and even put some of her recipes in the menu. Co-creator, Eytan Sugarman said the restaurant “is essentially inspired by a lot of the restaurants you’d find in Memphis,” which is Timberlake’s hometown.

Eva Longoria, along with the help of celebrity chef Todd English, opened up a Tex-mex restaurant called Beso in Los Angeles. The food is essentially based off of her childhood in Texas as well as her newly developed, bold culinary style from her travels. According to citysearch.com, the majority of users rated Beso with four to five stars.

Actor, Robert De Niro opened up The Tribeca Grill in 1990. The restaurant is located on the first two floors of the Tribeca Film Center, which is also the headquarters of Mr. De Niro’s film company, Tribeca Productions. De Niro also uses the restaurant as a gallery for the artwork of his father, Robert De Niro Sr. The opening of The Tribeca Grill made a huge impact on the city of Tribeca in New York and improved its popularity. De Niro has also helped open other restaurants in the United States, including Nobu, a Japanese restaurant in New York City.

While some celebrities have found success in the restaurant industry, many celebrity-owned restaurant only remain in business for short periods of time. “Owning a restaurant is a dream for many,” said Stensson.

So as celebrities follow their dreams of owning restaurants, we are able to enjoy the unique styles and atmospheres these restaurants tend to provide, whether it be for a few months or many years of success.