NBC has cooked up the next dose of reality TV with “America’s Next Great Restaurant,” a new show that will eliminate contestants each week, in true reality dramatic form, leaving the winner as the last restaurateur standing. The prize? Their dining concept turned into a national restaurant chain.
With the premiere of “America’s Next Great Restaurant” set for March 6th, HelloBeautiful ranked the top celebrities who’ve taken a crack at the restaurant business.
A more than justified celebrity to make our list, Justin Timberlake took his pop star Memphis roots and placed them on a plate when he opened Southern Hospitality in New York City. Since it’s inception in 2006, Southern Hospitality, known for it’s Memphis BBQ, has opened a second NYC location and has popped up in every magazine from People to “Page Six” in the New York Post. It’s a place to see and be seen, but only if you don’t mind being seen with barbecue sauce all over your chin. With Deep Fried pickle Chips, Championship Chili, and more rib dishes than you could ever anticipate, Southern Hospitality brings the south to NYC and seems to have no signs of stopping it’s takeover anytime soon.
After dominating the game of basketball, Michael Jordan took his talents to the kitchen and opened Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse in New York. This classic steakhouse menu is complete with filet mignon, varying fish options, and a hash brown potato pie that’s worth noshing on. Under the Cornerstone Restaurant Group, Michael Jordan hosts three other restaurants, onesixtyblue, SolToro Tequila Grill, and Michael Jordan’s 23.Sportcafe spread out between New York, Chicago, and Connecticut.
It seems the retired basketball superstar has the magic touch as Magic Johnson Enterprises has been on the road to building an incredible empire since 1995 when MJE opened a Loews 12-screen movie theater in the Baldwin Hills are of Los Angeles. Since then, Magic’s face can be seen on the walls of 116 Starbucks, 31 Burger Kings, a TGIF Friday’s, 24-Hour Fitness, and AMC Magic Johnson movie theaters in four cities.
Jenny is still just a girl from the block, well, a block in Pasadena where Madre’s, her family style restaurant could be found. Recently closed, Madre’s was once the glitzy restaurant where the stars dined as they rubbed elbows and chowed on Puerto Rican and Cuban style cuisine. The opening itself, back in 2002, seemed more like an award ceremony red carpet as Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, Christian Slater, Vivica Fox, Kobe Bryant, and more showed up and showed out as paps clicked away happily. Crystal chandeliers, white linen and lace tablecloths, and an in-house Cuban cigar lounge all contribute to what made Madre’s a great success. And of course, J. Lo’s megawatt name attached to it didn’t hurt.
Move over Kriss Kross, there’s a new set of Chris’s in ATL. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and chef Chris Yeo are making beautiful culinary music with Straits restaurant in the midtown area of the Atlanta. Luda initially made the purchase as a real estate venture, but after meeting the Singaporean chef, he decided his city needed Pan-Asian cuisine instead. Fuji Apple Shrimp, Tamarind Beef, Kung Pao Lollipops, and Spare Ribs head up the restaurant’s signature dish list, one that Ludacris enjoys whenever he’s in his hometown.