10 Superstars Who Moonlight as Restaurateurs
If you’re looking for a surefire place you could catch up with one of your favorite celebs in N.Y.C. or L.A., look no further: These 10 restaurants have major star power behind them. From actors like Eva Longoria and Ryan Gosling to musicians like Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, you might be surprised to find that these busy celebrities also double as restaurateurs.
However, not every situation calls for the same celebrity eatery: While Longoria’s Latin restaurant has total date night vibes, Timberlake’s is a go-to for down-home barbeque and Jay Z’s transforms into a nightclub.
Plus, they’re not all in it to earn cash on the side: Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee, which boasts two New York locations, donates profits to its foundation that supports education and community development around the world. Jon Bon Jovi, meanwhile, lends a hand here at home with JBJ Soul Kitchen, which allows patrons to volunteer in exchange for a meal.
Keep scrolling to learn more about these 10 surprising restaurateurs and their food joints.
Jessica Biel: Au Fudge
The new mom opened up her first venture into food in March 2016 with the L.A. restaurant, Au Fudge. The bright space is a place for adults and kids alike, featuring elevated basics like truffle grilled cheese, kale Caesar salad, and churro ice cream sliders.
“We’ve probably done about 20 different tastings because you have to try everything. Like you have to try the French fry again, you have to try the burger, again,” Biel told InStyle. “Even that grilled cheese we’re still tweaking. It’s constantly evolving.”
The actress has truly thought of everything, hiring professional au pairs to watch kids in the "creative space" while parents can get their bubbly on. The restaurant also features a marketplace for sweets, a treehouse nook, and a hidden playroom.
Jay Z: The 40/40 Club
Jay Z created this sports bar and lounge in midtown Manhattan back in 2003 to mimic the lavish experience of having courtside seats to your favorite game. "I love sports and wanted to create an environment that is conducive to match my lifestyle while watching the games at the same time," he said.
The luxurious space features V.I.P. lounges, video walls, and more than 30 flat screen TVs. While taking in the game, guests can sip cocktails, snack on finger food, or indulge in American cuisine.
Eva Longoria: Beso Restaurant
The Desperate Housewives alum has created an L.A. hotspot that's perfect for date night with Beso. The restaurant's menu features a mix of classic steakhouse picks and authentic Latin dishes. From the lavish leather seats to the crystal chandeliers, Beso's romantic atmosphere reminds us of the star herself.
Featuring an extensive wine list and indulgent menu, the eatery also has a piano bar, wood-burning oven, outside lounge, and a dance floor.
Ryan Gosling: Tagine
Perhaps the most surprising celeb on the list is Ryan Gosling, who has been a restaurateur since 2004 thanks to his Beverly Hills restaurant, Tagine. The highly rated hot spot features authentic Moroccan food, boasting chef's tasting menus with mezze dishes, couscous, and lamb chops, among other specialties.
Chef Ben Benameur brought his grandmother's food to California and shared it with close friends, including Gosling. According to the website, the actor declared it was “the food I want to eat for the rest of my life" and helped bring the restaurant to life.
Lady Gaga: Joanne Trattoria
Lady Gaga opened this Upper West Side gem with her parents, Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta, back in 2012. Serving Italian specialties, Joanne Trattoria is a classic family restaurant—with a hint of Gaga flair, seen in drinks like the Little Monster Mocktail.
The joint is named after Lady Gaga's aunt, Joanne, who passed away at just 19 years old. While Gaga never met her aunt, she feels a strong connection to her and even named her upcoming album after the late relative.
Hugh Jackman: Laughing Man Coffee
Jackman's adventure into the food world isn't so much a restaurant as a café. When traveling to Ethiopia with his wife, the actor met a young coffee farmer and partnered with him to launch Laughing Man Coffee, which has two locations in N.Y.C. All of the proceeds from the venture benefit the Laughing Man Foundation, which fosters education and communities around the world.
The café features delicious coffee specialties like the flat white, plus baked goods and more.
Jon Bon Jovi: JBJ Soul Kitchen
Jon Bon Jovi is giving back with his restaurant venture. The JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey has no prices on its menu. "You select what you like and make the minimum donation. If you can afford to donate more you are helping to feed your neighbor. If you are unable to donate, an hour of volunteering pays for your meal," the website reads.
The original location opened up in 2012, and Bon Jovi launched a second location in May 2016 with the same manifesto.
Robert De Niro: Nobu
Robert De Niro's restaurant chain might be as famous as the star himself. The veteran actor is among the brains behind celebrity hot spot Nobu, which now has 32 locations around the world. The luxe atmosphere and high-quality Japanese cuisine makes it a must-visit for many New York and L.A. visitors.
Nobu isn't the only restaurant that De Niro has stood behind: The actor is a seasoned restaurateur and has also opened the Italian restaurant Locanda Verde in N.Y.C.'s TriBeCa neighborhood.
Justin Timberlake: Southern Hospitality BBQ
Jessica Biel isn't the only member of the Timberlake family who has tried her hand at founding a restaurant. Perhaps the actress was inspired by her husband, who opened Southern Hospitality BBQ back in 2007 to serve down-home southern fare in the heart of N.Y.C.
The authentic Memphis-style restaurant and bar in midtown Manhattan serves the dishes that Timberlake grew up with, like fried chicken, Texas brisket, and lobster mac and cheese.
Mark Wahlberg: Wahlburgers
The actor teamed up with his family, including his brothers New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg and chef Paul Wahlberg, to create this chain of burger restaurants. Alongside classic burgers, fries, and salads, the burger joint serves up unique takes on family classics. "Chef Paul has put his own spin on Wahlberg family favorites like Mom’s Sloppy Joes and Mac ‘n Cheese with Smoked Bacon," the Wahlburger website reads alongside new additions to the menu.
The burger joint has evolved into a prolific chain, with locations across the country and even a TV show, Wahlburgers, which chronicles the family's journey with the business venture.