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Is the Vanderpump Rules #Scandoval Actually Good for Restaurant Business?

Plus lunch at a lesbian bar, lessons on natural wine, and more

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Vanderpump Rules - Season 1
Inside SUR, or Sexy Unique Restaurant.
Photo by: Tyler Golden/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Virali_Dave is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Born in Mumbai, she has always considered the West Coast to be the best coast. Her writing has appeared in FoodBeast, NBC News, LAist, Life and Thyme, The Ringer, Input Magazine, and more.

While the recent drama surrounding those in the Vanderpump Rules world has been great for ratings, the same hasn’t been true of the stars’ restaurants — up until recently. Last month, Lisa Vanderpump’s West Hollywood restaurant Pump was possibly going to close after roughly nine years, following a revoked (then reinstated) liquor license and a lease renewal up in the air. Plus, following the #Scandoval news that broke on March 3, there were reports of Vanderpump fans leaving negative reviews, canceling reservations, and more at nearby TomTom and Franklin Village’s Schwartz & Sandy’s — both of which are partially owned by Tom Sandoval. This was after TMZ reported that Sandoval and Ariana Madix had ended their relationship of nine-plus years, and that Sandoval was involved in an affair with castmate Raquel Leviss.

Lately, though, those fortunes may be changing, according to Vulture’s Bethy Squires who reports on the survival of the restaurants. At present, it seems business is booming at Pump, and that nearby bar TomTom and SUR, which stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant and is partially owned by Lisa Vanderpump, are doing just alright. All press is good press, as they say.

Good news for gluten-free cookie lovers

Last Crumb, which has recently launched gluten-free cookies, is hosting a pop-up at Alfred’s Melrose Place Cafe on Sunday, April 23. Attendees will be able to try the gluten-free cookies, browse merch, and sip on Alfred’s beverages.

Surf Clam pop-up with Tony Messina

As part of an ongoing guest chef series, James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Messina is taking over the Esters Wine Bar space in Santa Monica on Tuesday, April 25 for a preview of his upcoming restaurant called Surf Clam. Messina is part of a larger wave of New England names to bring their dishes to Los Angeles.

The menu will feature California produce and seafood merged with Japanese and Chinese influences and served across a variety of New England dishes. Reservations are highly recommended, but walk-ins at the bar will be welcome too.

A course on natural wine

Buvons, the wine bar from former Eater LA award winner Alicia Kemper, in Long Beach is running several courses on natural wine. Attendees will be able to learn how natural wine is made in depth with classes from May through July. Tickets run between $50 and $75 and include guided tasting and snacks. Topics include an introduction to natural wine, glou-glou, pink wines, orange wines, and more.

Wine and lunch at the Ruby Fruit

As of yesterday, Silver Lake’s lesbian bar the Ruby Fruit is now open for lunch. Following a collaboration with Couplet Coffee, the natural wine bar is partnering with another queer-owned company, Black Forest Bakery, today to give out free Berliner donuts while supplies last, plus bread for sale out of Black Forest’s food truck. Black Forest bread is also featured throughout the lunch menu, shown below, including in Berlin-style pretzel bagel sandwiches.

The Ruby Fruit, which has an Indigo Girls-themed bathroom, is also giving away two tickets to see the Indigo Girls Live on June 24 at Luckman Hall at Cal State LA To enter, folks must come in for lunch, leave their information on the back of their receipt, and drop it in the entry bucket. Names will be drawn on the evening of Saturday, April 22.

A pretzel bagel sandwich on a white plate.
Berlin-style pretzel bagel sandwich from the Ruby Fruit.
The Ruby Fruit