All Articles Tagged "celebrity restaurants"
We see them on TV, and on the movie screen. We hear them on the radio. We follow them on Twitter. Our fave celebs are creating all kinds of buzz and blazing trails in everything they do. These business-savvy celebs have launched some lucrative ventures worth checking out. Take a look…
It seems that just about everything JHud touches turns to gold. First, it was her Oscar-worthy role in Dreamgirls. Then it was her Grammy-award winning debut album. Now it is Weight Watchers. JHud wowed us with her phenomenal weight loss reveal last year, and now she hopes to influence people in her native Chicago to do the same. JHud became the first celebrity to have a Weight Watchers center when she opened the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers Center in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood last fall.
What’s next for JHud? A launch of her new clothing line, the Jennifer Hudson Collection on QVC this fall, as well as recurring role on the hit NBC show Smash, where she’ll take on the role of Broadway star Veronica Moore.
Tags:acting, anthony mackie, Boris Kodjoe, celebrity entrepreneurs, celebrity restaurants, celebrity side hustles, clothing line, clothing lines, entrepreneurs, fitness, forplai, hair extensions, jennifer hudson, jewelry line, JHud, lamman rucker, natural body care, Natural Skin Care, nene leakes, Nicole Ari Parker, QVC, restaurateurs, RHOA, save your do, Sherri Shepherd, side hustles, Star Jones, Suzanne de Passe, tasha smith, The Wendy Williams Show, tyler perry, Weight Watchers, Wendy Williams, wigs
(USA Today) — First there was Panera’s non-profit concept store “Panera Cares Cafe” where all profits go to charity; then high-end retailer Nordstrom announced it would test out a charity-driven business model this fall in New York City’s Soho district. And now? Rapper Jay-Z is wading into the charity space with a similar business model. Indeed, the mogul has announced plans for a new restaurant and nightclub in London in partnership with soccer star Ashley Cole (ex-husband of former X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole) with a percentage of profits going to different charities each month, according to U.K. newspaper, The Sun.
I ask this after getting into a debate not too long ago via Facebook about whether or not black folks should eat stereotypical foods, such as fried chicken and watermelon, out in mixed company. The person that I was chatting with said that he was so fearful of being stereotyped for his dietary preference that he had totally eliminated every food group that is associated with the black palette. That means no macaroni and cheese, collard greens, sweet potato pie and definitely no fried chicken and watermelon.
I thought that this was ridiculous if not teetering on the line of paranoia. Who cares what folks think about what you eat? But apparently some black folks do care, so much so that they have worked themselves into a tizzy over Flavor Flav, the legendary hype man for the 80s radical rap group Public Enemy, and his new fried chicken business venture.
Flav first made the announcement at a PE show some months ago about his forthcoming fried chicken chain restaurants, along with his grape-flavored vodka venture. No one knew then if he was serious or just being Flav, so naturally folks shrugged it off. But yesterday, some folks’ worst nightmare had been confirmed when news stories began to surface about Flav’s Fried Chicken, which is set to open its’ doors sometime this week in Clinton, Iowa.
The outrage against Flav’s Fried Chicken reminds me of last year’s brief frenzy over the black chef at NBC studios, who in honor of black history month, decided to serve a soul food menu of collard greens, smoked turkey wings, white rice and black peas, as well as the forbidden fried chicken. Much of the protest came from black folks, who thought that the chef’s menu violated the secret black commandment, “thou shall not serve fried chicken and collard greens in mixed company.”
Not to make too light of the situation as I do totally understand the historical significance of this particular racial stereotype. No one knows for sure when this idea of traditional southern cuisine began to exclusively be attributed to blacks, but some have theorized that it started during slavery when black slaves, in small acts of defiance, would steal chickens from the coup and watermelons from the patch of their plantation owners.
And of course, the denial of real nourishment by our ancestors gave racist white folks the justification needed to use chicken and watermelon as a way to dehumanize blacks, and subject us to public ridicule and spoofing. The particular stereotyping of blacks remained with us until the first half of the 20th century, when restaurants such as the Coon Chicken Inn, would use exaggerated depictions of blacks as mascots to sell fried chicken sandwiches and hamburgers.
Even today, there are some bigots who still take joy in harassing blacks with the chicken and watermelon references. But unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to or about them since those folks will always find fault with anything people of color do. In those situations, it’s best to chalk it up to another sign of the ignorance of racism.
Now back to Flavor Flav. When thinking about his antics on his various reality TV shows, and the big clocks and Viking horn helmets that make up his various costumes, it may make one cringe, especially since he plans to decorate the walls of his new chicken joint with his costume accessories. But, this venture may not be as absurd as we may think since Flav has a culinary degree and plenty of restaurant experience, including creating his signature 99-cent wings at a restaurant in Las Vegas.
Moreover, Flav has always been the jester of sort of Public Enemy. Consequently, it was his eccentric style that has made him one of the best hype men in the rap game. Why shouldn’t he honor that legacy?
Not to mention, it’s ironic that Flav is opening his first store in Clinton, Iowa, a college town with a racial makeup of 93% whites. Not saying that there aren’t black folks there but it’s not exactly the ‘hood either. It’s as if he is taking the stereotype, turning it on its head and selling it right back to the very instigators of the stereotypes in increments of a two-piece or four-piece with biscuits.
So, who likes chicken and watermelon now?
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
(Network Journal) — It is no secret the 40/40 Clubs, founded by rapper/entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Desiree Gonzalez and Juan Pérez has had the typical share of troubles for a restaurant chain, such as labor disputes and the closing of unsuccessful locales ( i.e. 40/40 Las Vegas), but the sports bar has weathered the storm. According to a study in 2009 done by an Ohio State University business professor, 59% of new restaurants closed within three years. Given this, the 40/40 chain has beat the odds. And overall, the chain, which first opened in New York in 2003 and is now in not only in Manhattan, but Atlantic City with plans to open during 2011 in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Tokyo and Macau, has been fairly successful. So much so that Jay-Z and his partners have announced they will expand and open locations in various airports across the country.
(NY1) — After more than 25 years in hip-hop, rapper Doug E. Fresh is still going strong. The popular recording artist, who calls Harlem home, is spreading his wings in his old stomping ground. With concerns about the how the economy is hurting his hometown, the celebrity has just opened a restaurant on 132nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard called “Doug E’s.” ”Really even in this whole Obama initiative, and everything that’s going on with the economy, the only way to jump start it is we have to give each other opportunity. That’s the only way to make it work,” says Fresh.
by Anton Polouektov
Celebrities dabbling in the restaurant business is a common occurrence – from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert DeNiro to Justin Timberlake and Alice Cooper, the rich and famous from every arena of entertainment seem eager to dive headlong into the not-so-glamorous business of feeding hordes of ravenous customers and die-hard fans. Often, their efforts end in quagmire, but at other times, celebrity-owned restaurants transcend the label and become true staples, commanding respect from fans and foodies alike.
The past decade has seen a concerted effort by famous Black performers, actors and sports stars to secure a place in the sun for their own culinary undertakings and leave a lasting imprint on the restaurant industry. Many of those efforts have failed, like that of Usher’s The Grape and The Jackson’s Family foray named Katherine’s, in line with the low success rates of restaurants in general. The restaurants included on this list are ultimately survivors of the tough cuisine service industry. They range from swanky to plain, from modern to rustic, and, are part of the growing breed of restaurants owned by African-American celebrities.
The retired basketball legend’s flagship Manhattan restaurant, “Michael Jordan’s Steak House N.Y.C.,” offers an upscale, quintessentially American fine-dining experience complemented by an extensive selection of wines and spirits. The restaurant’s interior design reflects its haute cuisine focus – you’ll find no sports memorabilia or self-aggrandizing photographs here, only a sleek, stylish décor evoking Michael Jordan the Businessman, rather than Michael Jordan the Basketball Player. Few celebrity-owned restaurants are as ambitious in scale and price-point as Michael Jordan’s New York venture.