Lisa Vanderpump is officially closing the doors to her beloved Villa Blanca restaurant in Beverly Hills after 12 years.
The reality TV star and restaurant mogul confirmed the news in an exclusive statement to DailyMail.com on Friday.
Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd will focus on reopening their other locations – Pump, SUR, Tom Tom and Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Caesars Palace – and hope to relocate Villa Blanca staff to other locations down the track.
Moving on: Lisa Vanderpump is officially closing the doors to her beloved Villa Blanca restaurant in Beverly Hills after 12 years
Mogul: The reality TV star (pictured in May 2013) and restaurant mogul confirmed the news in an exclusive statement to DailyMail.com on Friday
She told DailyMail.com: ‘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.
‘Reputable news sources shouldn’t quote untrue facts printed in gossip columns.’
Vanderpump explained that the 12-year lease for the restaurant is expiring imminently and the landlord was not willing to renegotiate on the rent price which has increased significantly.
She said: ‘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.’
There is optimism despite the closure, however, as the mogul is hopeful that she can reopen the restaurant at a different location.
Vanderpump explained: ‘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.’
She has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years and owns several throughout the Los Angeles area including Pump, SUR, and Tom Tom in the Los Angeles Area in addition to the Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and is working toward continuing service at those locations as the country reopens.
Vanderpump 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.’
The television personality and staff have been feeding the homeless fresh meals every Monday morning since the Beverly Hills restaurant opened and she revealed that will continue despite the closure.
The Vanderpump Rules star said: ‘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.’
No doubt it is a grand gesture of social responsibility as the homelessness situation in LA has grown into a full-blown crisis in recent years.
The closure of Villa Blanca will come to a shock for many of its A-list clientele which includes Nicole Kidman, Drake, Dustin Hoffman, Stevie Wonder, La Toya Jackson, Sidney Poitier, and Robert Wagner.
It has even become a cornerstone of the Beverly Hills community for over a decade as it was a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
One patron commented: ‘I’ve been a regular customer at Villa Blanca for years and friendly with all the staff, and know that the rent has been around $80k per month.
‘After the major improvements and refurnishing that the Todds did on the restaurant in the past few months, I am shocked that it is closing – I know how much the family and staff love that place – however, with the rent as high as it is, I’m not surprised.’
The COVID-19 pandemic has sent a shockwave to the restaurant business as a whole as several titans of the industry have been forced into closures including Thomas Keller, David Chang, Geoffrey Zakarian, and the Hakkasan Group.