Enjoy Wedge Salads Of The Rich And Famous At These Celebrity-Owned Restaurants

A rundown of celebrity-owned restaurants, from Jimmy Buffett’s effervescent Margaritaville to Susan Sarandon’s weirdo ping-pong bar.

Being famous must get pretty boring. You wear baseball caps to dodge your adoring fans, attend a gala or two, sit back in your 16-bedroom Hollywood Hills mansion, and wait for Neutrogena to offer you the endorsement deal of a lifetime. But some stars dedicate their free time to culinary pursuits, and when they do, we all reap the benefits.

What follows is a brief selection of notable celebrity-owned restaurant concepts, from Jimmy Buffett's effervescent Margaritaville to Susan Sarandon's weirdo ping-pong bar. Which of these esteemed institutions would you patronize?

Chicken + Beer (Ludacris)

When he's not pimpin' all over the world, Ludacris is the consummate businessman. His latest venture includes Chicken + Beer, a restaurant located at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. Per the restaurant's website, Chicken + Beer serves "Southern-style comfort food and locally sourced beers." The real question: can this new-ish ATL chicken concept make up for the devastating loss of Gladys Knight's Signature Chicken & Waffles?

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Wahlburgers (Mark Wahlberg)

A few months ago, we reported that Wahlburgers is the second fastest-growing restaurant chain in America, with $76 million in sales and 37% growth last year across the brand's 50 locations nationwide (not to mention those in Canada and Germany). It's hard to believe this Wahlbrothers-owned concept is already 10 years old—but we're rooting for another decade of tearing down wahls in the fast food scene.

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Trejo’s Tacos (Danny Trejo)

Danny Trejo, king of stage and screen, opened the first location of this Mexican-American restaurant concept in L.A. back in 2016. Since then, he's expanded Trejo's Tacos to locations across the country. (There's even a Trejo's ghost kitchen near The Takeout's Chicago headquarters.) The menu includes classic taco proteins like beef barbacoa and grilled chicken, but it also features veg options like jackfruit and mushroom asada.

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Dave’s Hot Chicken (Drake)

While Los Angeles–based chain Dave's Hot Chicken has a number of notable investors including Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Werner, Drake recently became one of its largest investors after sampling its menu and liking what he found. "I tried the food, and it was amazing," Drake said in a statement. "After meeting the founders and hearing their story I jumped at the opportunity to invest." It's only been around since 2017, but Dave's already has 22 locations—a testament to its chicken tenders, which range from "No spice" to "Reaper."

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Mom’s Spaghetti (Eminem)

Eminem is a pioneer when it comes to opening restaurant concepts based on food you famously threw up. Mom's Spaghetti began as a pop-up in Detroit back in 2017 to promote Eminem's album Revival, featuring food in reference to his iconic "Lose Yourself" lyric, "His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy/ There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti." Buzz was positive enough that a brick-and-mortar version opened in the city this fall, and reviewers say it's not half bad.

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Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett)

We'd be remiss if we failed to acknowledge the grandaddy of musician-owned restaurants. But Margaritaville is more than a tropics-themed restaurant and tequila bar: it's a brand. Nay, a lifestyle. Jimmy Buffett popularized that lifestyle way back in the late 1980's, when he opened the first Margaritaville restaurant in Key West, Florida. Since then, he's opened dozens across the country, inviting patrons to experience a paradise somewhere "between the Port of Indecision and Southwest of Disorder."

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Mermaid Oyster Bar (Zach Braff)

In 2009, Scrubs star Zach Braff became co-owner of Mermaid Oyster Bar, a New York eatery described as an "upscale yet laid back" seafood destination. Braff reportedly opened the joint with his childhood best friend, Mermaid head chef Laurence Edelman. Stars: they're just like us. They know people who can cook fish!

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Chick N’ Hawk (Tony Hawk)

We've been hearing a lot of squawkin' about Tony Hawk's Chick N' Hawk, a forthcoming concept that will focus on hot chicken alongside raw bar selections like seafood and ceviche. Mashed reports that the San Diego restaurant will highlight a "surf and skateboarding theme," because of course it will. It's slated to open in the spring of 2022.

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SPiN Ping-Pong Bar (Susan Sarandon)

Susan Sarandon seems to be obsessed with ping-pong. We haven't fact-checked this, but it's pretty obvious if you watch her performance in the 2014 film Ping Pong Summer. Apparently, she also co-founded a chain of ping pong clubs called SPiN, which feature ping-pong tables, full bars, booths, and dance floors. And there's one in Chicago! What are we doing writing these silly little articles while high-octane leisure awaits? If you need us, we'll be getting our paddles outfitted with custom grips.

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Nobu (Robert De Niro)

You know it, you (maybe) love it, you definitely see it as a status symbol: it's Nobu, the restaurant Robert De Niro opened alongside acclaimed Chef Nobu Matsuhisa back in 1994. Since then, the chain has expanded to include more than 45 status-y restaurants, which double as both black cod propaganda (yes, we have the recipe here!) and a spot to see and be seen.

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Fleetwood’s On Front St. (Mick Fleetwood)

When musician Mick Fleetwood isn't drumming on his insane percussion vest, he's hanging around Fleetwood's On Front St., his West Maui restaurant. Per the restaurant's website, the Fleetwood Mac star's spot boasts "expansive views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the majestic West Maui Mountains." The menu also features a design-your-own-course option titled—what else?—"Go Your Own Way."

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Soul Kitchen (Jon Bon Jovi)

Early last year, we reported that Jon Bon Jovi, the patron saint of New Jersey and all-around Good Dude, had opened the third location of JBJ Soul Kitchen, his nonprofit community restaurant. Bon Jovi opened the first Soul Kitchen location with his wife, Dorothea, leaning into a community-minded pay-what-you-want (PWYW) model. The locally-sourced menu has no prices, although patrons who can afford it are encouraged to pay $12 for a three-course meal ($20 at the Red Bank and Toms River locations). Otherwise, no one is required to pay, although patrons are encouraged to volunteer with the restaurants.

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