These Celebrities Tried to Get Into Food Only to Watch Their Dreams Wither and Die
They may all enjoy successful careers in entertainment, but not everyone is cut out for the restaurant business. For every Robert DeNiro, Ryan Gosling, Jon Huertas, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan, there’s a celebrity who tried their hand at a food-related business and failed.
Here, we’re taking a look at some popular stars who couldn’t take the heat and got out of the kitchen.
1. Donald Trump
Long before he became president, Donald Trump was a real-estate mogul and businessman who had many prosperous ventures but he also had many that flopped. The latter was the case with his Trump Steaks.
The product was sold by Sharper Image but was a complete failure, with CEO Jerry Levin admitting that they hardly sold any steaks. The fact that Trump likes his NY strips well done with ketchup may have had something to do with it.
Next: This pop princess’ restaurant incurred hundreds of thousands in debt.
2. Britney Spears
Britney Spears has had one of the most successful careers of any pop star, so she probably figured she could do anything like open a restaurant in Manhattan. Nyla’s Cajun-style menu was inspired by favorites from Spears’ home state of Louisiana, but diners accused the eatery of having really bad food and awful service.
A few months after it opened in 2002, the menu switched to Italian. However, that didn’t draw a crowd either, and it eventually shuttered that same year, but not before racking up $400,000 in debt.
Next: This actor’s restaurant wasn’t a complete failure.
3. Kevin Costner
In 1999, Kevin Costner partnered with Jerry Kleiner of Marche and Red Light, Doug Zeif of the Cheesecake Factory, and celebrities, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, and Robert Wagner, to open The Clubhouse in Costa Mesa, California.
The restaurant didn’t have bad run, as it stayed open for a decade. However, the generous American-fare portions weren’t enough to keep people coming back, and in 2009, it closed its doors.
Next: This star’s celebrity diners couldn’t keep this spot open.
4. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez opened Madre’s in Pasadena in 2002. The eatery served traditional Puerto Rican dishes and was frequented by A-listers like Nicole Kidman and Ben Affleck.
It was the place to spot some celebs and check out what J.Lo might eat. The hoopla surrounding the restaurant eventually died down though, and it shuttered in 2008.
Next: This famous director couldn’t create the magic for this eatery.
5. Steven Spielberg
Director Steven Spielberg and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg teamed up to create a restaurant called Dive! that looked like something out of one of their movies.
In 1994, this submarine-themed restaurant, which served subs of course, opened, but went down for good within five years after failing to draw a steady business.
Next: This actress had two restaurants fail.
6. Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria tried breaking into the food business twice, but had the same result each time. In 2012, the actress opened the female-focused steakhouse SHe by Morton’s in Las Vegas. In 2014, the health department closed it after finding more than 20 code violations.
She also had the restaurant Beso in Hollywood, but a fight between a worker and a patron in 2016 brought about a lawsuit and Longoria ended up selling the establishment.
Next: These brothers weren’t meant for the restaurant business.
7. The Baldwin brothers
Billy and Stephen Baldwin put money, time, and effort into opening a restaurant on Manhattan’s posh Fifth Avenue in 1999, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The eatery, which served Mediterranean dishes, was named Alaia after Stephen’s daughter until the brothers decided to change it.
It was later called Luahn and marketed as a sleek lounge with fancy decor. When that failed to become a hot spot, there was another name change to Society 5. Stephen Baldwin then decided to end his involvement with the property, and the place shut down.
Next: The singer’s eatery was a victim of the “economic climate.”
8. Chrissie Hynde
Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde opened a vegan restaurant in her hometown of Akron, Ohio, in 2007. VegiTerranean was actually pretty successful, even being named one of the top five vegan restaurants in the country by Business Week.
But it wasn’t immune to an up and down economy, and Hynde was forced to close it in 2011.
Next: This wrestler’s eatery inside a famous mall had a short run.
9. Hulk Hogan
In 1995, Hulk Hogan opened a restaurant in Minnesota’s Mall of America. The place was called Pastamania! and served entrees named after the wrestler such as the “Hulk-A-Roos” and “Hulk-U’s.”
Apparently though, shoppers of the famed mall weren’t into the Hulk pasta dishes, and the eatery ended up closing the same year it opened.
Next: This actress’ food TV show wasn’t gold like her sitcom.
10. Roseanne Barr
TV star Roseanne Barr tried to create another television hit with a reality show all about food. The actress starred in the series titled Roseanne’s Nuts, which was all about her macadamia nut farm.
The show premiered on Lifetime in July 2011 but did not get a warm reception from viewers or critics. After several episodes and the same result, the show was canceled in September 2011.
Next: Even these gorgeous women couldn’t keep this spot afloat.
11. Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington
If four gorgeous ladies and a sexy fashion theme eatery can’t stay open in NYC, what can? Fashion Café opened in Rockefeller Plaza in 1995 and was backed by supermodels Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington.
But its downfall is proof that restaurants can’t survive on just beauty and glitz to stay open. For a while, the place benefited from it’s high-traffic location, but that wasn’t enough to keep the doors open and it closed in 1998.
Next: This reality star’s successful empire doesn’t extend to food.
12. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian may have had success in many business ventures, but cupcakes isn’t one of them. In 2010, the reality star partnered with Famous Cupcakes for her own cupcake mix.
Evidently, Kardashian’s fans weren’t into paying $13 for the vanilla mix, cupcake liners, and pink sprinkles because now if you do a search for her mix, you get a 404 error.
Next: This man also learned that reality TV stars and food don’t always mix.
13. Scott Disick
Speaking of the Kardashians, Kourtney’s ex, Scott Disick, learned that being successful on reality TV doesn’t translate to doing well in the restaurant biz. In 2012, Disick became co-owner of a Japanese restaurant in NYC’s Meatpacking District, but after just a few months and terrible reviews, Disick pulled out.
The place tried to remain open by selling sandwiches and fries via a pickup window. However, that concept didn’t work either and Ryu shuttered for good after five short months.
Next: These actors bit off more than they could chew with this space.
14. Jill Hennessy and Benjamin Bratt
Actors Jill Hennessy and Benjamin Bratt opened Irving Mill to rave reviews all around in 2007. With such positive write ups and New York City buzzing about the yummy burgers, you would think this place would have made it.
So, what was the problem? After just two years, Irving Mill went under and the cause appeared to be too large of a space. Crowds hit up the eatery — just not in the numbers the space intended to hold. It was later taken over by Brother Jimmy’s BBQ.
Next: This entrepreneur seen more than one of his eateries close.
15. Sean Combs
Sean “P Diddy” Combs had two restaurants of the same name close. The eateries, which opened in NYC and Atlanta, were named Justin’s for his eldest son, but they both closed after more than a decade.
The soul food spot in New York was the first casualty in 2007. Then in 2012, people decided to steer clear of the ATL property after it was deemed “dangerous” following a shooting in the parking lot, and it shut down as well.
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