Lisa Vanderpump’s life is never boring, but right now she is dealing with a lot of changes. Vanderpump Rules axed stars Kristen Doute, Stassi Schroeder, Brett Caprioni and Max Boyens for racist behavior.
In addition, like the rest of us, Lisa has been dealing with the fall-out from the coronavirus epidemic. Lisa and her husband Ken Todd own four restaurants in Los Angeles: SUR, Villa Blanca, PUMP, and TomTom. They have been closed due to Covid-19, as has Vanderpump Cocktail Garden At Caesars Palace in Los Vegas.
Lisa discussed the closures in an April interview on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “It’s not just our business. It’s our life as well,” Lisa said. “And so many people have worked for us for years. I mean, now they’re all on unemployment.” The Pump Rules star added, “It’s been devastating. It’s been really sad, I have to say.”
Now Lisa is confirming that Villa Blanca, after 12 years in business, has closed. On July 10, Lisa issued a statement to the Daily Mail. “Although there have been many untrue articles in the past week or so about the reasons for closing Villa Blanca, we are indeed going to be closing up our doors for good,” Lisa said.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills viewers were certainly familiar with the elegant eatery, which was often featured on the show. The Beverly Hills ladies enjoyed many lunches there. And many, many cocktails.
The 12-year lease was up for the location and the rent had increased. Apparently, the landlord didn’t want to renegotiate the price. The restaurateur stated, “If the landlord had been willing to renegotiate and the lease wasn’t ending, we would have reopened, but unfortunately with Coronavirus, the situation was beyond our control.”
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But this may not be the end for Villa Blanca. “While saying goodbye to the location where we have actively served the Beverly Hills community for 12 years and employed hundreds of Angelenos, is a sad time for us, we are excited to perhaps bring Villa Blanca back in the future at a different location – as its staff and customers have always been a family,” Lisa revealed.
She said, “We will definitely be opening up the other restaurants as soon as the government allows it and they are safe to open, and many of the Villa Blanca staff members will be relocated to these businesses.”
Ever since Villa Blanca opened, it has been serving fresh meals to the homeless every Monday morning. Lisa plans to continue this program. “We will also be moving our Homeless Initiatives, to our other kitchens, to continue feeding the homeless weekly, which we have been committed to for the past 12 years,” Lisa said.
During this difficult time, Lisa’s junior partners in TomTom, Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval, stepped up to help the unemployed staff at their bar. The Pumps Rules stars filmed Cameo videos, and matched donations up to $10,000. Altogether, the duo raised $50,000 for their TomTom employees.
Hopefully, Lisa can find a new location and bring back Villa Blanca.
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]