Restaurant businesses have taken a brutal beating amidst the pandemic, with quarantine and social distancing rules forcing many places to shutter their doors at some point over the past year. That trend didn't miss restaurant mogul and reality television star Lisa Vanderpump, either. The executive producer and namesake of Bravo's widely popular Vanderpump Rules is facing yet another legal drama over the famed restaurant that put her show on the map.
The Sun recently obtained records that confirm Lisa Vanderpump's PUMP restaurant in West Hollywood, California is indefinitely suspended. The filings made by the California Franchise Tax Board are not clear on why PUMP specifically was shut down, but it is likely due to “failure to file tax returns, failure to pay taxes and/or failure to pay penalties/interest.”
The going has definitely been tough for all of Lisa Vanderpump's restaurants this past year, which include PUMP, Tom Tom, SUR and Villa Blanca. Following the initial lockdown last March, Vanderpump was forced to shut down her restaurants per the CDC safety guidelines. This also meant the production of Season 9 for Vanderpump Rules, which follows the personal lives of the restaurants’ waitstaff, was put on hold.
Lisa Vanderpump herself revealed that she was struggling financially to her Vanderpump Rules darling Lala Kent on her podcast back in September, saying,
Five months of paying rent and insurance and this, and having no business is taxing, stretching, a bit of a nightmare. But we’ll get back on track soon.
In October, PUMP restaurant was able to reopen with social distancing, despite Lisa Vanderpump's announcement in July that Villa Blanca was closing permanently due to negotiations with the landlord falling through. Now, it seems unless Vanderpump pays what is allegedly owed to the state that the famed PUMP restaurant will follow Villa Blanca’s suit. This could easily spell disaster for the future of Vanderpump Rules and its stars.
The produce distributor of PUMP and Villa Blanca sued the restaurants, not Lisa Vanderpump herself, in February for roughly $100,000 of unpaid produce. Her husband Ken Todd later declared that the matter would be resolved. Two months before that, Vanderpump came under a class action lawsuit from her former SUR restaurant employees for unpaid overtime wages and altering their timesheets, to name a couple of their complaints.
With PUMP restaurant being shut down, it looks from the outside like a house of cards falling on top of Lisa Vanderpump. In the face of these allegations, though, the mogul is putting her best face forward and even has a new reality show Overserved with Lisa Vanderpump airing on March 18.
Fans will undoubtably watch the new series to get their fix of the saucy Queen of Bravo, but questions continue to linger about what all this restaurant legal drama will mean for Vanderpump Rules.