13 Celebrity-Owned Restaurants Around the World (Slideshow)
Cabo Wabo Cantina, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Sammy Hagar)
Founded in 1990, Cabo Wabo Cantina prides itself on being a hard-partier's ultimate destination. Owned by former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar (sorry for the reminder, David Lee Roth purists), the Cabo Wabo brand now includes its own tequila, as well as additional restaurant locations in Lake Tahoe, Calif., Hollywood, and Las Vegas — but it's the Cabo location that started it all.
Caffè Giacosa, Florence (Roberto Cavalli)
Photo by Alfonso F. via Yelp
One of Florence's coolest nightlife spots is owned by wild and bold designer Roberto Cavalli. Caffè Giacosa is a fashionable café by day (selling mouthwatering chocolates and perfect espresso) before turning up the house music and opening its doors at night to well-heeled Florentines. Can’t make the trip to Italy? Cavalli’s chocolates (as well as his vodka) can also be purchased online.
Ketchup, Dubai (Ashton Kutcher)
With an all-American menu of steaks, burgers, other meats, and five varieties of ketchup, it should come as no surprise that Dubai’s Ketchup restaurant is owned by Ashton Kutcher and his Dolce Group (founded with some of his That ‘70s Show co-stars). The actor has been behind a few restaurants in the past (with mixed results), but this is his first international attempt. So far so good in the few years since it first opened, as the spot has received some decent reviews from patrons. Hopefully it will have some staying power, lest Kutcher find himself asking, “Dude, where’s my restaurant?”
La Fontaine Gaillon, Paris (Gérard Depardieu)
Gérard Depardieu doesn’t just own Paris’ La Fontaine Gaillon, he’s an integral part of the operation. Or, he was, at least. After giving up his French passport following tax disputes, Depardieu is no longer as involved with his French restaurants (he has three, in addition to a café in Belgium) and instead intends to focus on opening three Franco-Russian restaurants in his new Russian homeland. He’ll no doubt miss dining and working at La Fontaine and its greenery-enclosed terrace the most, soaking up the sun amidst the sound of water gently lapping in the historic Fountain d’Antin nearby. He’ll probably also miss the fresh seafood and the wine cellar boasting some 150 varieties of vino!
La Vache, Verbier, Switzerland (James Blunt)
Singer James Blunt opened this Swiss spot in 2012 with former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio and former superbike world champion Carl Fogarty. It serves everything from grilled specialties to pasta and pizzas, but Blunt, in an interview with The Telegraph, simply called it “an excuse to have long boozy lunches” and a place “with good food at good-value prices.”
Langan's Brasserie, London (Michael Caine)
Actor Michael Caine was such a big fan of young chef Peter Langan’s culinary skills that Caine decided to partner with him (along with Richard Shepherd, formerly of London’s Capital Hotel) in 1977 to found Langan’s Brasserie. The place was a hit, drawing celebrities and food lovers alike. Almost 40 years later, Langan’s is still delighting diners with its fantastic French-influenced cuisine.
Margaritaville, Various Cities (Jimmy Buffett)
Jimmy Buffett opened his first Margaritaville location in 1985, and the casual chain has since expanded to some three dozen locations in America, abroad, and also on cruise ships. Although it is now a franchise and thus Buffett himself is not the owner of every location, they are still under the umbrella of his Margaritaville Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Cheeseburger Holding Company, LLC. Current international spots include the Bahamas; Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, and Falmouth in Jamaica; Cancún and Cozumel, Mexico; Turks and Caicos; Grand Cayman; Sydney; and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. There’s even a location at the theme park in the Jurassic World movie! (Fun fact: Jimmy Buffett has a hilarious cameo in the film as a frightened guest double-fisting margaritas.)
Nobu, Various Cities (Robert DeNiro)
Photo by Misty S. via Yelp
Most people know to associate Nobu and its Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine with chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, but it may come as a surprise to some that Robert DeNiro is part owner in these restaurants, too. Although the Matsuhisa locations are privately owned by Nobuyuki and his family, the Nobu brand is shared by Matsuhisa, DeNiro, film producer Meir Teper, and restaurateurs Drew Nieporent and Richie Notar. In addition to the 15 American locations, Nobu has international restaurants in Athens, Munich, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, and 14 other cities.
The Grapes, London (Ian McKellen)
Photo by The Grapes via Yelp
Owned by Sir Ian McKellen, theater and film director Sean Mathias, and Evening Standard publisher Evgeny Lebedev, The Grapes is a classic British pub with some surprisingly good fare. Although the history stretches back over 500 years, the menus are thankfully updated regularly. For logistics, the downstairs is the grub pub portion, upstairs is an intimate dining room, and there’s even a heated riverside deck overlooking the Thames!
The Hansom Cab, London (Piers Morgan)
Described on its website as a “good-looking Victorian boozer,” The Hansom Cab pub has also been called “The Posh Boys Club” after owners Piers Morgan, the noted journalist and TV personality, along with his brother Rupert and Tarquin Gorst, also a partner in Guy Ritchie’s London pub The Punch Bowl. Expect mostly traditional pub fare like fish and chips, burgers, and shepherd’s pie to be served here, given the fact that this pub is about as traditional as you can get. Much of the original nineteenth-century fittings have been retained and the artwork reflects days gone by. The pub once featured an actual hansom cab (a two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage) suspended from the ceiling, but safety regulations no longer allow this.
VBites, Brighton, England (Heather Mills)
Heather Mills — best known as a media personality, model, and former wife of Paul McCartney — opened a vegan restaurant called VBites in Sussex, England on July 4, 2009. In 2013, Mills sold the restaurant premises to another celebrity, record producer Fatboy Slim. This wasn’t the end of VBites though, as Heather opened a new, larger VBites on East Street in Brighton shortly afterward. In addition to serving vegan food and drink for dine-in or take-out, VBites also stocks a variety of its own brand of vegan meats, fish, cheeses, and sauces to bring home.
Wahlburgers, Toronto (Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg)
The Wahlburgers burger chain was founded in 2011 by chef Paul Wahlberg and his brothers, actors Mark Wahlberg and Donnie Wahlberg. You may have seen it on the A&E reality show of the same name, which recently completed its sixth season. The first location opened in Hingham, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), and the brand now has additional locations in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania. They also have one international restaurant in Toronto.
Wayne Gretzky’s, Toronto
When he wasn’t busy being the greatest hockey player ever to skate in the NHL, Wayne Gretzky somehow found time to open Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant and sports bar in 1993 in partnership with Tom Bitove. The joint is located near Toronto’s Rogers Centre and boasts 40 HDTVs (showing all sports, all the time) and a rooftop patio. Wait a second…a pub, a dining room, and a deck all in one? It sounds like the sports bar version of The Grapes!