Being a celebrity allows you to do a lot of things that the regular Joe cannot; including opening a restaurant. Celebs need to remember that just because you can act, sing, wrestle or play a sport doesn’t mean you know anything about being in the restaurant business. From awful themes to terrible food to overspending and not knowing the first thing about operating a business; these restaurants really had no chance of making it in this highly competitive business.
From restaurants that lasted a mere five months to others that managed to stay afloat for years there is one theme in common; most celebrities have no business running a restaurant. Fortunately for these celebs; there are so many celebrity ruined restaurants that these epic fails didn’t hurt their incomes.
The worst offenders are the celebrities that not just tried once but twice and in the case of Flavor Flav a whopping third time; only to fail once more. From a fashion café that featured skinny people in form fitting clothes to a themed submarine restaurant to Hulk Hogan in a chef’s outfit cooking pasta, these are the ten most epic celebrity restaurant fails.
10. Pastamania- Hulk Hogan
Whoever thought that it was a good idea for Hogan to be the person behind a restaurant clearly didn’t have their head set on straight. Pastamania only lasted a mere year in 1995 before closing its doors for good. With features such as Hulk-A-Roo’s and ads that featured the Hulk himself in a yellow chef’s hat while holding a plate of spaghetti, this restaurant didn’t stand much of a chance. Fast forward to 2013, Hogan opened a new restaurant in Tampa, Florida, and the reviews were mixed at best. Loaded with memorabilia and everything ‘Hulk’, unless you are a fan you may want to steer clear of this place. On the plus side it has surpassed its year mark and only time will tell how long this one can last.
9. The Fashion Café- Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington.
This restaurant was doomed to begin with as partnerships between this many people are hard to make work in the hospitality industry. Along with these four models who fronted the endeavor, there were two founders; brothers who were eventually arrested in Italy for fraud, bankruptcy and money laundering. Skinny models don’t exactly make people hungry and the mediocre food that was served was just the tipping point to failure. The blame for failing got passed around from the models accusing the brothers to Schiffer backing out due to old problems with Campbell but as far as we can tell; this restaurant never had a chance.
8. SHe by Morton’s- Eva Longoria
A failed nightclub and two failed restaurants is why Eva Longoria decided she should hang her business hat up and just keep acting. Before the awkwardly capitalized SHe by Morton’s failed; her first attempt at a steakhouse called Beso also saw red. SHe was imagined to be the ultimate lady friendly steakhouse featuring dessert menus with mirrors and sexist portion sizes. But the weirdly lady friendly amenities didn’t cause the shut down, it was the 32 food violations that the Health Inspectors caught. Unfortunately overcoming this many violations proved too hard for Longoria and the restaurant didn’t live to see its second birthday.
7. Alaia- Stephen and William Baldwin
The Baldwin brothers decided to have their go at the restaurant world and opened Alaia in 1999 investing time, energy and even Stephen’s oldest daughters name into the place. Unfortunately the restaurant lasted a mere two years; even after changing the name twice and revamping the inside. This restaurant failure is one of the most talked about because the Baldwin’s made sure to go on record with the New York Times professing that their place was there to stay; unlike other celebrity restaurants that come and go.
6. VegiTerranean- Chrissie Hynde
Downtown Akron Ohio perhaps wasn’t the best location to put the vegan restaurant opened by Pretenders vocalist Chrissie Hynde. The restaurant/bar/bakery/coffeehouse failure was blamed on the economic situation by Hynde and closed its doors after 4 years of operation. Well the décor and atmosphere and choice of food pleased most people ( mainly vegans) it was the price of the food that turned most people off. In addition the restaurant probably would have fared better in somewhere like Portland or San Francisco. The lesson to learn from Hynde; location really does matter.
5. Lemon Basket- Danielle Staub
Despite heavy promotion and the added exposure from the reality TV show ‘Famous Food’ this restaurant lasted a mere five months before shutting down. In the five months the restaurant received lukewarm reviews with the majority of patrons hating the décor and not being impressed with the food. Things only got worse from there and a cockroach infestation forced the restaurant to close temporarily and one month later closed for good. Rumor has it that this Real Housewife of New Jersey declared bankruptcy and checked into rehab shortly after the restaurant failed.
4. Café Dupri- Jermaine Dupri
There is failing at being a successful restaurant owner and then there is failing at being a decent boss; Dupri fails both challenges miserably. Opened in 2005, Café Dupri was a late night café where one could get a variety of food in a relaxed atmosphere and some thought this celeb might be able to have a go at it. Fast forward to the year 2008 and employees couldn’t cash their paychecks, the lights were turned off when they showed up to work and there was a sign on the door stating it was ‘indefinitely closed’. If that was disrespectful enough; Dupri’s mom Tina Mualdin blamed the employee’s lack of work ethic for the failure of the restaurant.
3. NYLA- Britney Spears
In midtown Manhattan Spears decided to combine the love of two of her favorite places; New York and Louisiana into one restaurant, NYLA. The restaurant lasted a short time, only 6 months before Spears had racked up thousands in debt and walked away from the whole deal. NYLA originally started with a Cajun menu but quickly switched to American with an Italian twist when it became apparent that things weren’t going well. Spears’ reason for leaving was mismanagement according to a press statement she released, although if we could guess it was probably due to the $25,000 she owed to vendors. Allegedly Spears bought into Meatball Spot in Las Vegas in 2013 and if that is the case; we wish her better luck this time around.
2. Dive- Steven Spielberg
One of the longest lasting restaurants on this list was this creation by Steven Spielberg; a unique submarine themed eatery that lasted a whopping five years. This yellow shaped submarine restaurant served nautical themed fare and gourmet submarines. Outfitted in special effects including flashing lights, catwalks, gauges, control panels and sirens we can’t imagine this was a very relaxing place to dine. This restaurant seemed like more a fad where people came to eat once and never came again. Closed in 1999, Spielberg has stepped away from the restaurant business since.
1. Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken
Guilty of having the most restaurant fails is celebrity Flavor-Flav topping the number at three. With three separate locations closing within six months of opening we highly suggest this guy stay away from the restaurant business. From rent paying issues to being sued to management issues, the list of problems seems never ending with this celebrity. In 2013 he shut down the last location of his chain over a dispute with the landlord and although the chicken was said to be delicious, this guy just couldn’t make this work.
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