What would be the rewards of having your very own restaurant? You could get a free meal any time you want, you would have a great place to hang out with your closest friends, and you could have a customized menu featuring all your favorite foods, and that’s just the start. Perhaps those are a few of the reasons why these 15 celebrities decided to start a side business and open their very own restaurants.
15. Paula Deen
It may not come as a huge surprise that the celebrity chef has her own restaurant, but Paula actually has more than one. She owns The Lady and Sons Restaurant with her two sons Jamie and Bobby, located in Savannah, GA, and a small chain of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen restaurants located in Pigeon Forge, TN and soon in Myrtle Beach, SC.
14. Dolly Parton
Another southern belle that has a keen eye for business investments, Dolly has made a name for herself in the corporate world with her theme park Dollywood located in Sevierville, TN. The location is a major tourist spot for the state and naturally there are many other attractions in the area. Dolly recently bought out the Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show attraction and therefore now owns her very own dinner theater.
13. The Wahlberg Brothers
Most people are already familiar with the fact that Donnie, Mark, and their brother Paul Wahlberg have their own chain of restaurants known as Wahlburgers, thanks to the A&E reality show based on the everyday antics of running the business. There are several locations throughout the US with restaurants located in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Wahlburgers recently added a new restaurant in Ontario, Canada as well.
12. John Bon Jovi
The lead singer of rock group Bon Jovi placed a brand-new spin on providing food to the needy in his community. He opened the JBJ Soul Kitchen Community Restaurant. This non-profit location is run by the singer and provides food for both paying customers and those in need of a good hot meal. If you are unable to pay for your meal, you can volunteer at the restaurant to pay your tab.
11. Ryan Gosling
Yes, the original “Hey Girl” guy can even take you out to dinner at his very own restaurant, Tagine is in Beverly Hills and places a modernized twist on Moroccan cuisine. There is a candle-lit banquette area with plenty of pillows and tantalizing entrees such as North African stew with chocolate soup for dessert.
10. Justin Timberlake
Growing up in Memphis, TN gives you a certain appreciation for good food such as southern BBQ. That is one of the reasons why Justin decided to open his restaurant Southern Hospitality in New York City so that people from all over the world could experience the unique flavor of Memphis style baby back ribs and other classic dishes.
The 40/40 Club owned by rapper Jay-Z is everything that you would expect it to be and more. This restaurant/sports bar/night club has plenty of class as well as a public and private area for members only. It is a great place to unwind and enjoy a delicious meal while you catch the game with friends.
8. Toby Keith
Country crooner Toby Keith named his restaurant after one of his hit songs “I Love This Bar”. The establishment, I Love This Bar & Grill, which is in Foxborough, Massachusetts is a family friendly spot before 9PM. The menu is filled with Southern dishes and appetizers including smokehouse nachos and loaded freedom fries.
7. Jimmy Buffet
Obviously, you can’t have a list about celebrity restaurants without including the legendary Jimmy Buffet and his popular Margaritaville chain of restaurants. They are located all throughout the country and you can always enjoy an island-themed meal along with your margarita.
6. Debi Mazar
The American actress was inspired to bring a bit of Tuscany into Brooklyn with her restaurant The Tuscan Gun. There you can enjoy simple breakfast and lunch menu items such as paninis and enjoy the other side of Italian cuisine that isn’t all about pasta and pizza.
5. Norman Reedus
The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus may seem to have a lot on his plate, but he has found time to open a restaurant named Nic and Norman’s, along with TWD director Greg Nicotero in Senoia, GA. While it isn’t zombie-themed, the location pays tribute to the area where the show is set. Fans love the large variety of burgers and salads that are available, and the cast and crew of the show visit frequently when they are in town.
4. Joey Fatone
Another former member of the boyband *NSYNC has opened his own restaurant. Joey Fatone, took his “Fat One” nickname and turned it into something positive with Fat One’s Hot Dogs and Italian Ice. The restaurant opened recently in Orlando and the menu features a lot more than what the name suggests, including the Boybander, which is fine mini versions of his signature hot dogs.
3. Jonathan Jackson
The star of TV’s Nashville recently opened a restaurant along with his former General Hospital co-star Steven Burton in Franklin, TN named Jack and Jameson’s Smokehouse. This family-friendly establishment features menu items such as burgers, melts and delicious BBQ. There is also live music every weekend.
2. Zach Braff
The Scrubs and Garden State star is a foodie at heart, so he decided to pen up his own Mermaid Oyster Bar in NYC along with his friend Chef Laurence Edelman. The small and intimate establishment has 16 delicious varieties of oysters for diners to try and enjoy.
1. Danny Trejo
What many believed to be a joke turned out to be reality for the Machete star when he opened his very own vegan taco restaurant known as Trejo’s Tacos in L.A. The establishment serves gourmet vegan and vegetarian tacos with homemade salsa. Be sure to celebrate Taco Tuesday with Machete everyone!