Celebrity Celebrities are notorious for having their hands in multiple industries, whether it be fashion, beauty, technology, art, or even home furnishings and interior design. And while forays from the entertainment industry into the hospitality industry are a bit rarer than the aforementioned fields, there are plenty of stars who own or are investors in bars and restaurants around the world.
This doesn’t always mean menu items themed after their movies or pictures of their faces plastering the walls—often, their involvement isn’t even apparent to customers. But of course, the idea that one might catch a glimpse of a movie star while eating dinner or sipping a cocktail is alluring. Below, Architectural Digest rounds up a few places to try your luck while also enjoying aesthetically pleasing interiors.
Tramp Stamp Granny’s, Los Angeles
When American Crime Story star Darren Criss and his now wife, Mia Criss, decided to open a piano bar in Hollywood in 2018, they took inspiration from New York City’s grittiness (in particular, the well-known West Village spot Marie’s Crisis Café), but didn’t skimp on the glamour. Their cheeky spot has an Art Deco vibe, and Mia previously described the space to Architectural Digest as the perfect blend of “classy and trashy.” Indeed, there are sequins embedded in the tables and a tattooed mannequin on display in the front window (a contribution from American Horror Story set designer Giovanni Aurilia), but also a clean marble bar and lovely vintage-looking velvet chairs. “The concept that I saw was the juxtaposition of elegance and debauchery,” Mia says. Adds Darren, “We added our own seasoning, injecting a little bit of glitter and punk rock and irreverence, but the real focal point is the piano, and the people that come to sing around it. There’s a simplicity in that—it’s our own little world.”
Las’ Lap, New York City
“It’s a rum bar meets your Caribbean grandmother’s decor…with dope music!” reads the caption of a September 12 post on this Lower East Side cocktail bar’s Instagram page. This sums up the vibe of the establishment, which counts Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan as an investor, features a rum-heavy cocktail menu, and serves bites like Arepas, jerk chicken spring rolls, and oxtail bowls. The space is tiny but stylish, with high ceilings, leaf-patterned wallpaper, tons of plants, and wicker accents.
Employees Only, New York City
The five founders of this West Village cocktail bar are celebrities in the craft cocktail industry, and Employees Only pretty much leads the pack of Prohibition-inspired Big Apple spots. But this speakeasy also has a behind-the-scenes celebrity investor, actress Piper Perabo (she is also involved with the popular brunch spot Jack’s Wife Freda). Ironically, she’s perhaps best known for her role in the 2000 dive bar film Coyote Ugly, but her real-life bar’s decor is much more clean and elevated. Rich wood covers most of the intimate space, and the ceiling features pressed tin with terraced lighting around the perimeter.
Swan and Bar Bevy, Miami
Is there anything Pharrell Williams doesn’t do? The singer-producer-author-clothing designer (and most recently, real estate developer) teamed up with nightlife mogul David Grutman to open a swanky two-in-one restaurant and cocktail bar in Miami’s Design District in 2018. The pair called upon AD100 Designer Ken Fulk to create the whimsical interiors. Downstairs at Swan, the color scheme is white and light pink, with accents like mirrors, tropical print pillows, fun light fixtures, and large gold pineapples. It all makes for a sort of feminine, Palm Beach–inspired vibe. Upstairs is Bar Bevy, a cocktail den decked out in Moroccan-inspired deep blues and reds.
The Polo Bar, New York City
In the case of the Polo Bar, patrons absolutely know whose establishment they’re eating in—and that makes it all the more classy. Ralph Lauren’s signature preppy aesthetic is all over this place, from the rich brown leather benches to the deep green and plaid accents to the numerous paintings of horses. It’s more than just the decor that makes it feel like you’re eating and drinking in Lauren’s private clubhouse; the likelihood that you’ll run into one of his famous pals is pretty high. Hilary Clinton and even Duchess Meghan have reportedly dined there, as have Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Alex Rodriguez, and countless others.
Mermaid Oyster Bar, New York City
Garden State auteur Zach Braff is an investor in this seafood spot in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The sister property to the Mermaid Inn (which has locations in the East Village and the Upper West Side, with another set to open in Chelsea soon), the decor is a bit beachy, but elevated, with a black-and-white color scheme, making it the perfect place to enjoy a little taste of summer right in the middle of the city.