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The Best Celebrity-Owned Restaurants in America

by sem on April 16, 2013

Celebrity-Owned Restaurants

Move over, Guy Fieri—you’ve got some steep competition.

For decades, celebrities with altogether too much money have turned to the restaurant world both for investments, and to fulfill childhood dreams. Some of them go for the strictly high-end, upper-crust clientele, whereas others bring their food to the common people.

One interesting trait that most of these celebrity owned restaurants have in common is that you could eat there several times, and never know who owns them. It’s nice that these celebs aren’t trading off their names, opting instead to rely on the quality of their food. It’s ironic that many restaurants will create fictional characters as a way to personify their food (Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders, Wendy) while actual famous people whom you admire sit quietly on the sidelines.

If you’re fond of trying new places, consider checking these restaurants out. You could sample Dan Akroyd’s lobster macaroni and cheese, or see what Justin Timberlake’s vision of huevos rancheros tastes like.

Soul Kitchen – Red Bank, New Jersey

OWNED BY: Jon Bon Jovi

CUISINE: Regional American

Rocker and actor Jon Bon Jovi took a big risk when creating this restaurant—he created a menu without prices. Soul Kitchen operates on a “pay-what-you-can” policy, meaning that patrons donate what they like for their meals. If you are unable to pay for your food, they work out an arrangement to volunteer in the restaurant.

This benevolent approach seems to have worked well for Bon Jovi, and is a nice reminder that celebrities are occasionally good people, too.

House of Blues – All over the place

OWNED BY: Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi

CUISINE: A mix of American and international dishes

The House of Blues is arguably the most popular restaurant on the list, but I never knew it was owned by the Blues Brothers. With locations in San Diego, Atlantic City, Boston, Houston, Las Vegas, Orlando, and more, this bar/restaurant is known for booking incredible acts in a relatively intimate setting.

The food at the House of Blues is typical chain restaurant pub grub—that is to say, everything you’d expect and nothing to write home about. But the average patron isn’t there for a quiet romantic dinner for two, they are there to drink their bodyweight in moderately priced beer, and rock out to everything from Anthrax to Carlos Santana.

Southern Hospitality BBQ – New York City

OWNED BY: Justin Timberlake

CUISINE: Southern BBQ

Have you ever felt a craving for a specific food, but you’re not in the area best known for it? “I could really go for a bagel, but I’m in San Diego,” or “A burrito would sure hit the spot, if only we weren’t stuck in Alaska.”

Timberlake took that very same approach to his restaurant. So if you’re ever in NYC and fiending for some good old fashioned barbecue, you can visit either of his two locations in Hell’s Kitchen or on the Upper East Side.

Celebrities owning restaurants is not a new trend by any means, but it’s a good one. Think about it—who else has the time, money, and ego to spend millions in pursuit of the best possible version of their favorite foods? If they can even come close, and bring that dish to the rest of us, we win.

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