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Celebrity-driven restaurants, are they ever any good?

We have seen them come and go, celebrity driven restaurants and taverns (not to be confused on this post with eateries opened by celebrity chefs which is indeed another issue)...my question is: do they ever turn out good? In my area, greater New York City, we have and have had a number of these spots show up with big sports and Hollywood names involved and except for the opening excitement (hype), normally they do not last very long...Have you been to any celebrity establishments that are above average? Why do you think these places rarely display longevity...

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  1. G.R., I will always remember the Seinfeld episode featuring "Kenny Rogers' Roster" across from Kramer's apartment. To me, that episode defines celebrity resturants.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Walters

      Thanks, Walters...good reference and funny, but I also know there are a few that exist, for better or for worse: Mickey Mantle's, Manhattan; Don Shula's Steakhouse, national; Justin Timberlake put his name to a rib joint on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that you cannot get into right now; Michael Jordon's Steakhouse (which I hear is much better than average); Moe's Grill in New Rochelle, N.Y. with pitcher Mariano Rivera as a partner that I hear is for sale (it lasted almost 2 years); actor Richard Gere is part of a new restaurant/cafe/spa being developed in Bedford, N.Y....and so on.

      1. re: gutreactions

        The few I have been to out here in LA have been average to bad. Just waiting for one of the Hollywood stars to open their own place here and name it something like "Ego Inn". I think that Deniro is involved with some places in NY through Nobu, is he not? Maybe that's the ticket. Only link up with a very successful restaurant guy and show up once in a while with your "posse."

        1. re: Servorg

          He's involved with Nobu and Tribeca Grill. Nobu was a celebrity chef on the West coast before he came to NY. However, I don't believe that Tribeca Grill is affiliated with a celebrity chef.

    2. Actually Michael Jordan's steakhouse in Grand Central's (NYC) not bad at all. It's not as good as Luger or S&W or Striphouse ... but it's respectable. And the ambience is really spectactular, I think.

      Apparently Justin Timberlake's Southern Hospitality isn't too bad for ribs. Haven't been, so I can't comment. Word on the street is that it doesn't suck too much.

      1. brett favre's steakhouse in green bay is TERRIBLE!!!! (i was on the road with family & my late father wanted to try it-- mea culpa to the gods of all things epicurean)

        1. We visited Emeril's restaurant at Universal Studios, and have also eaten at Delmonico's (his steakhouse in the Venetian in Las Vegas). The service at both was the best I've ever had in any restaurant, and the food was pretty good in both as well. I think that probably has a lot to do with his celebrity coming from the food industry, rather than something completely unrelated.

          1. We have George Brett's Steakhouse in Kansas City. This place competes with some "famous" KC Steakhouses - Plaza III, Hereford House, Savoy, among others. I'm not sure if it's better - but, it must have something going for it besides the name. ..Will put it on the list...
            Of course, Harry Carry's in Chicago is actually a favorite for their famous potato chips. The food is decent - but, chips and a cold beverage are a nice treat.

            3 Replies
            1. re: stellamystar

              George Brett's on the Plaza is not a steakhouse. It's a trashy bar that sells blue margarita's and sliders. Blah.

              1. re: chinkymonkey

                Well, I guess we have our answer about that! Just add it to the list of mediocre Plaza restaurants

              2. re: stellamystar

                In addition to Harry Carry's, Mike Ditka has a well regarded steakhouse in Chicago.