After dominating the music and film industries, Jennifer Lopez made her foray into the restaurant business in the early 2000s. She opened a Latin restaurant in Pasadena, California, called Madre’s that turned out to be a big success, attracting thousands of guests upon opening. However, we no longer hear about the business, which raises questions about its status. Is it still up and running, or has it shuttered?
The beginning of Jennifer Lopez’s restaurant Madre’s
Inspired by Lopez’s mother’s cooking, Madre’s opened its doors in April 2002. (Around this time, Lopez was at the peak of her fame and in a high-profile relationship with Ben Affleck, whom she met on the set of 2003’s Gigli.) Lopez celebrated the restaurant opening with a launch party that attracted such guests as Affleck, Nicole Kidman, Carmen Electra, and others.
CNN described the vibe of the restaurant as “Havana flair,” noting that it featured “40 twinkling crystal chandeliers, white petticoat-style tablecloths, and antique fans.”
“The room has a festive, romantic feel and a flea market chic,” according to The Los Angeles Times. “Tables are set with antique embroidered linens, cut-glass stemware and flowered china. The whole effect is very pretty and girly.”
Madre’s menu included steak, fried plantains, black beans and rice, soups, seafood, salads, and a bevy of other traditional Cuban courses. The items ranged in price from around $14 to $37, according to the LA Times.
In the beginning, people appeared to love Madre’s. Celebrities often frequented the restaurant, and fans could try out Lopez’s favorite dishes. The LA Times noted that it was always busy and visited by a “mob” of fans. But by the end of the decade, Madre’s had shuttered.
Madre’s closes its doors
TMZ reported in July 2008 that Madre’s had shut down, attaching a photo of a note posted to the door of the restaurant that said it would be closed until “further notice.” While it seemed temporary at the time, the restaurant never reopened.
Lopez has never directly shared what happened to Madre’s or what contributed to her decision to shut it down. But TMZ claimed she had decided to focus on motherhood after welcoming twins with her then-husband Marc Anthony. She gave birth to the twins, Maxmillion and Emme, in February 2008 after marrying Anthony in a secret ceremony nearly two years earlier.
Now 12, the twins often support Lopez at career events — including the 2020 Super Bowl, where she performed alongside Emme.
Although Madre’s didn’t last long, Eater reported that it was open longer than many people expected it to be, including Lopez. With that in mind, it’s possible she has no regrets and is satisfied with the way things turned out.