Can Lisa Vanderpump Find Love in Gay WeHo?

Maybe Lisa Vanderpump should shop at Ralph’s?

lisa vanderpump, sur restaurant and lounge, vanderpump rules, west hollywood restaurant
Lisa Vanderpump (with Giggy)

The reality TV star (“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” “Vanderpump Rules”) riled up some shoppers at the West Hollywood Pavilion’s yesterday when she showed up with a film crew and pretended to be shopping.

Shoppers contacted WEHOville to complain. And several celebrity gossip websites chronicled what appears to have been a bit of a public relations disaster for the store, which is owned by the Safeway grocery store chain.

“I told the general manager that I will no longer shop here if Lisa VanderPhony gets to come here with a film crew and pretend she’s one of us!” said one shopper quoted by Highlight Hollywood. “Outrageous. This reality TV stuff is staged!”

“She came storming in here like the Queen of England with a film crew,” said another shopper. Didn’t even tell us she was coming, was driven into the parking lot, jumped out with her daughter and brought the crew in here, then out the door, she had to ask her daughter for the money to purchase the items, that shows how prepared she was to shop here.”

Highlight Hollywood reported that several shoppers walked out of Pavilions in protest, leaving carts packed with food behind. Pavilions, at 8969 Santa Monica Boulevard, diagonally across the street from P.U.M.P., Vanderpump’s relatively new gay-oriented bar and restaurant, is known as among the gay crowd as a place to flirt while shopping.

A previous Vanderpump shopping excursion at Pavilions resulted in a few broken eggs. Radar Online reported that a customer threw two eggs at Vanderpump when she visited the store in September of last year (both missed their target).

“A girl threw two eggs at Lisa! They totally missed her but that girl didn’t care. She wanted to make a point to Lisa that she isn’t welcome in West Hollywood,” said a shopper interviewed by Radar.

It seems Vanderpump also wasn’t very welcome at West Hollywood’s Gelson’s grocery store when she and her daughter Pandora appeared to promote Vanderpump’s LVP Sangria drink, with a few shoppers yelling at her to leave.

Vanderpump and her husband, Ken Todd, live in Beverly Hills. Their restaurant there, Villa Bianca, is up for sale following a successful lawsuit by an employee who alleged she was sexually harassed by the restaurant’s manager. She was awarded $100,000. The restaurant also is facing a lawsuit by a food vendor for failing to pay its bill. Documents filed in the sexual harassment lawsuit show the restaurant has been financially troubled.

In West Hollywood, Sur, Vanderpump’s restaurant on Robertson Boulevard near Melrose, has been the setting for “Vanderpump Rules,” which chronicles the lives of its young and pretty employees and the affairs they are having with one another. It is known for attracting reality TV fans.

Last year Vanderpump opened P.U.M.P. in the heart of West Hollywood’s Boystown, with the intention of attracting a stylish gay crowd. Vanderpump and Todd are dealing with a lawsuit over that property, which is on the southeast corner of Santa Monica and Robertson boulevards, by two men who claim that they already had the right to lease it.

P.U.M.P. is next door to Mother Lode, one of West Hollywood’s most popular dive bars, one of whose bartenders has described Vanderpump and Todd as “neighbors from hell.” Bartender Josh Romine told Radar that his neighbors had described the Mother Lode crowd as “riff raff” and that the couple tossed a receipt at him and laughed while walking by one day and on another occasion tossed a nickle his way.

It’s not clear how long Vanderpump and Todd will be laughing. P.U.M.P. appears relatively empty most nights despite efforts by the couple to attract a gay crowd. During last year’s Gay Pride, shortly after P.U.M.P. opened, they collaborated with Frontiers magazine on an event that won Vanderpump a glowing cover profile in the magazine. But Frontiers these days seems not to be attracting much of a gay crowd either. Its last few issues, at 68 pages each, are the smallest in its modern history, reflecting a significant decline in advertising. P.U.M.P. now is promoting its “Big Gay Brunch” on Sundays and recently engaged veteran gay party promoter Jeffrey Sanker to stage Giggy Tuesdays, a night of discounted cocktails named after Vanderpump’s Pomeranian.

  1. You see it as exploting and that’s your right! The wonderful thing about opinions is we all have them! However when I look at the fact that she feeds the homeless “gay” community which is something she herself does not even speak of publicly and have done so for the past 11 years, when she speaks out in favor of LGBT rights and we being afforded the same privileges and opportunities to love and marry who we choose which is something else she supports which is why she became ordained to be able to marry! Even when you look at the tons of gay people that has visited her establements but you’d never know of it by her own mouth I fail to see how she’s exploting anyone! You ever stop to think that maybe just maybe it would make some young gay person who feels their life is the pits! Have a different outlook on it just because some celebrities view them as people, realize their public power, and use it to speak for them? Now I’m not arguing that their are celebrities who exploit us! I just choose to not turn my attentions to them and to the ones who have realized we are more than labels ! So if that classifies me as “her ally” than I tak it as a compliment and thank you for such!

  2. Paul first I must LOL at how pathetic your post is! Secondly, this woman has been a major supporter of gagy rights since you were probably even able to hold a gay flag! If you check her stats, even in London she was huge in gay rights, and owned several gay bars… So all of your mindless ranting, is just that… MINDLESS RANTING! And yes she does have “allies” because she’s a respected woman, and simply put. She LIKEABLE! So yea, people will speak for her, and defend her, which techinically she doesn’t need because her record is one that speaks for itself….

    1. Hi Tre,

      I don’t resort to mindless rhetorical mudslinging when I disagree with someones opinion, but you go right on ahead. However, can you tell me and everyone here what the benefit of her or any of the current corporate and entertainment exploitation of the community would be?

  3. Another mediocre straight owned lounge/ restaurant/ bar in West Hollywood under the guise of being a supporter of the community. In reality, they want to profit off our struggles now that ‘gay’ it has become mainstream. It’s insulting and why mostly only straight people go to these venues. Venues like the Abbey, Pump and Sur. We are not a community on display like circus animals for tourist and people who want to say they have been to a gay bar and “LOVE” the gays. Just leave already, your drinks and food are tragic and over priced. If you want to support the community, then bring a gay bar to Beverly Hills and make it work and that community love it. That would get her and these other “allies” respect from me and probably a lot of the community.

  4. Yes JJ I too enjoyed your commentary!!!! And I’m not speaking solely as a Lisa supporter but moreso from a person on the outside looking in, scratching my head asking “what has this woman done so wrong” besides open a business, thus creating revenue for the city and an opportunity for someone who was probably unemployed to be EMPLOYED! She may be somewhat of a shrewd businesswoman but would she have made it this far if she were some wall flower? And people that I know personally that has visited her establements and got an opportunity to meet her all say she’s one of the sweetest people you’d ever want to meet…

  5. I have owned a home in West Hollywood for the past 12+years just blocks away from PUMP. I wish we had more business owners that would come in and take a … space and fix it up and add to the tax revenue of the City. For YEARS this corner stood empty – an eyesore, a dump and didn’t create any tax revenue. This woman comes in, opens up a business, beautifies this corner and she’s getting bashed?! 30+ years ago, we would have appreciated a straight person with visibility making donations to gay causes, marching in our parades and supporting our community. Not in 2014. In our day we bash people like this. How open and accepting are we?! Some people on here are absolutely ridiculous. Less of them and more like her are what we really need.

  6. Well, I think that WEHOville has now officially jumped the shark. This is an article written by an unnamed “staff writer” that quotes several unnamed “shoppers” (one shopper and another shopper) about a ridiculously minor episode at a grocery store. Why all of the secrecy here? Lisa is a reality TV show personality, not a KGB agent. Man up if you’re going to bash this woman. If Lisa Vanderpump shopping at a market is so terrible for you that you need to complain to a website and publish a negative story, then you should consider yourself blessed.

  7. Loran if I met her I’d probably be a bumbling fool LOL I’d be so enamored with her grace, beauty, style, and poise… I’ve met celebrities before through my father but it was sorta like “yeah whatever ” for me lol! She’s the only reason I even watch Beverly Hills housewives

  8. Loran I normally hear people speak very well of her and Ken. I’d really like to meet her someday… My parents are actually sponsoring a two week trip to Los Angeles as I’ve al wanted to visit there. Hopefully I’ll get to meet her then, Sur, Pump and Villa Blanca are establements I plan to visit. I’ve had friends that went to pump and they loved it…

    1. Tre they are wonderful people and very inviting. I hope you get the chance to meet them. You will love them ! 😉

  9. Actually I’d pass on that drink as that’s not something I indulge in! Oh I’ll also pass on your dismissive advice as it’s something I didn’t solicit! I take advice from people worth listening to and judging by this dialogue my dear I’m afraid you don’t fit that bill… Thanks anyway though…

  10. Well said Tre ! Lisa is a dear friend of mine and I hate seeing ridiculous hateful comments about her. She’s also huge dog lover and also supports many dog organizations ! She is a good soul and doesn’t deserve this ! She and Ken both are so good to our community. I’ve never seen them say a harsh word or do a disrespectful thing to anyone. This bashing needs to stop.

  11. That commentor would be me, and yes I said it! And I stand by it! If for nothing else for the countless money she donates to homeless gays “in society are viewed VOICELESS” for the charity GLAAD she supports again in society viewed “voiceless” for the anti bullying commercial she recorded and stop the hate commercials she’s recorded! I don’t have to prove my point to a complete stranger whom I’d never meet and more than likely wouldn’t care to. My point is there seems to be a lot of animosity towards a lady who has done nothing but try to live her life, be successful, and do what she loves. Again which are points I will stand by no matter how many statistics you manage to break down…

    1. I’ve never knocked her advocacy, nor do I support anyone being verbally or physically assaulted in any way, including aforementioned egg attack. Sounds like you need an over-priced drink from one of your girl’s dining establishments. #namaste

  12. As a WEHO resident, you don’t know how infuriating the filming of these shows can be, which disrupt your day-to-day activity like simple Sunday grocery shopping. I accept this as part of living here – some days it’s seriously like living on a Bravo! set. And there are plenty of beautiful places for ALL in WEHO. P.U.M.P. is not some anomaly.

    I’m sure it’s just another tourist trap with mediocre food like her other places. The article says P.U.M.P. was made “with the intention of attracting a stylish gay crowd,” which is not to create some well-appointed safe haven for the gay community.

    And to say the gay community in West Hollywood is voiceless is a joke. Have you been here? Our mayor is gay. So are many of our public and private leaders. WEHO is also home to one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Gay Pride in the nation. Even the sidewalks are RAINBOW as are the WEHO maps on our police cruisers.

    There is no way Ms. Vanderpump is being bashed for her advocacy (which is not stated once in this article), more likely her ridiculous celebrity and the way she treats neighbors and employees.

    1. Gretchen, hahahahaha, LIke living on a Bravo set???? Wow, I shop at Pavilions all the time, and have never once seen a film crew there. How absurd. Where in the hell does it say anything about a voiceless gay community? I give up with folks like you.

      1. A commenter above said that something about a voiceless gay community – NOT ME. I don’t know why you’d “give up” on me, someone you’ve never met nor know nothing about. On my street alone, I live in a building with a PUMP employee, Stasi from Vanderpump Rules (I don’t watch) lives in the building next door. Matt from MDLLA used to live a few doors down, his brother, Josh, a couple blocks away. Josh Altman’s “assistant” pours me drinks at Hudson, where he tends bar. They’ve filmed on my street several times. So, yes, some days I do feel like I live on a Bravo set. That’s my reality.

  13. WOW it’s so sad to see what you people there complain about! I live in Atlanta, and YES I AM A LISA VANDERPUMP FAN! I wish she would come here and create something so beautiful and classy for our gay population! We’d sure appreciate it a lot more than you guy’s obviously do! And with Atlanta being the Hollywood Mecca of the south, we’d welcome her with open arms. I have never seen someone try to speak up for the gay community and be a voice for the voiceless get bashed! I have never seen someone say “you know what I have an affinity for the gay community, and I want to create a beautiful space for them” GET BASHED! She’s in the restaurant lounge business for Christ’s sake! It’s no different than someone being an attorney, or a singer, or a judge! It’s their living of choice, and if it affords her the lifestyle she lives I applaud her 150%! She’s doing what she loves which takes a tremendous amount of courage! And you all should be ashamed of yourselves for attempting to tear her down because of it! Shame on you!

  14. I was at Gelson’s when she and her daughter were there promoting their sangria and nobody was shouting at her to leave. She was doing a promotion like many companies do.

  15. R Crane- I don’t really have a special affinity for Lisa, but I also do not hate her. Anyone who is a public figure is a target for a lawsuit, especially if they have money. I just have no patience for the whiny folks who think they are suffering due to something so mundane. I hope they do stop shopping at Pavilions, I don’t want to see them there.

  16. If an experience like this outrages shoppers, they really need to take a deep look at their life and re-evaluate what’s important. And then get a life.

  17. kab1200 – “Stop whining and get your groceries and mind your own business,” said Lisa Vanderpump’s lap dog…

  18. I wonder if she and her crew had applied for and received a Film Permit from the City of West Hollywood. She can film all she wants but she still needs to follow the same rules every one else does! I do not remember seeing any notices that filming was going to be going on! The City Attorney needs to check this out!

  19. Anyone who ACTUALLY shops at Pavilions would know that Friday is the busiest shopping day, it’s 5 dollar Friday after all and certainly the worst day possible for filming.

  20. For the record, “Huge Gay Brunch” (not “Big Gay Brunch”) was held at Pump every Sunday from July 27th – October 5th.

    It is no longer being held at Pump Restaurant.

    Pump is now open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with no gay them.

  21. @kab1200: totally agree with you! Who defines what “work” is for anyone?? She works 16 hours every day, more or less (yes, actually I know this) She runs several businesses, and she deserves every penning. Hear a lot of jealousy here… For f—k sake, everyone knew they were going to film, like they do everywhere in LA, there are paparazzis everywhere, don’t like it? Move! Very funny comment from Mike regarding the traffic, wasn’t that space a parking lot before she did something nice in that corner?? So it must have been more polluted there before Pump? Sad to see that WeHoville trashes a person who has worked so hard to create something nice, and yes, make money. No shame in that.

  22. Pavilions knew she was filming. It wasn’t a surprise. They told me she would be there ! Lisa is a wonderful lady. I’m so tired of people bashing her for no reason !

  23. @kab1200: Yes, Weho is evolving but not necessarily in a good way. Overdevelopment with hotels, mixed-use buildings, etc will have a negative impact on the quality of life for those of us who already live here. Traffic sucks and with the plans for Doheny & SMB along with the massive apartments already completed and in the works on the east side it’s gonna suck even more. As far as her working more than 40 hours a week I would hardly call that what she does work. She makes money off the low expectations of her viewers. IMO. 🙂

    1. Mike, you have no idea what she does, so to make a statement like that is ridiculous. She runs businesses, not just the tv stuff. Pump does not contribute to more traffic, so your point is really not very well taken. People need to get real and stop bitching about non issues. The traffic on Santa Monica Blvd, for the most part, is bad because of the timing of the lights, and all the new crosswalks. It is not due to too many cars. Again, be realistic.

  24. Wow, can’t believe how nasty people can be. Stop hating for no reason, and, Weho is evolving, so get used to it. The part about the neighbors from hell cracks me up. He tossed a receipt at him? hahaha Wow, that is harsh! Someone tried to make something nice on that corner, for better or for worse. She has every right to make money, just like anyone else, and who the F cares about your 40 hour work week and your lunches! She probably works a lot more than you do Save Weho. We all know that filming goes on all over L.A. Stop whining and get your groceries and mind your own business.

  25. Vanderpump is exactly what is wrong with West Hollywood. It’s a facade. She’s not there to support the gay community. She’s not there to unite or give us a stronger voice. She’s there for financial reasons. I agree with the above person…PUMP lounge is solely a tangible side effect of a reality program. The sad part is the gay community plays into it. But not everyone does. Attendance has fallen and it too will pass.

    What the problem is with these people moving into Weho is they think they can bring their fame, money and status and people will fall for it. A LOT of folks in Weho don’t want to bother with that. We’re sick of it. And when people want to go to Pavillion’s to get groceries to make their lunches because we work over 40 hours a week…the last thing we want to see is some faux celebrity walking in acting like she owns the place. I look forward to the day PUMP closes and Ms. Vanderpump retreats back to Beverly Hills.

  26. @Christopher, I agree. I’ve been drinking at Molo since it opened in late ’79. Not so much now. What I like about the place is that they don’t gouge you on drinks. Other Gay bars may be more “fashionable” but you can’t drink atmosphere. IMO. As far as PUMP is concerned it can die a fast death. Bringing in douche bag reality stars doesn’t serve Weho any good at all. Hell, the place is overdone in tasteless décor: I mean, Louis XVI style chairs and mini-crystal chandeliers?

  27. Whoever calls the Mother Lode a dive bar has clearly never been east of Fairfax, south of Beverly, anywhere near Hollywood Blvd, or most of the Valley for that matter. Truth be told, the Mother Lode has survived many neighbors on that corner over the decades and will probably still be popular when Lisa’s folly has faded from memory.

  28. Can Lisa Vanderpump Find Love in West Hollywood? That depends on how we define LOVE, now if she is willing to settle for a Mercy Date and, given the generosity of WeHo, her chances could be quite good!

  29. This is journalism?! Next you guys will be reporting that aliens have been spotted in WeHo (hint: it’s Halloween) but you guys wouldn’t know the difference. Serious trash here!

  30. I tried the “Big Gay Brunch” and it was just plain bad food. Most of my friends are over PUMP already. It appears that the “franchise” is the reality TV and PUMP etc are simply vehicles for that, not a real attempt to do a restaurant. SUR once was a marvelous little place where it was mixed gay/straight and fun. Then the reality TV thing started and it (and SUR Lounge) became overrun with people who wanted to be on TV. She can do what she wants of course and folks who end up in the TV nonsense without any desire to be there have every right to make her uncomfortable. Welcome to Weho where we are not shy about our opinions….

  31. Disappointed in Wehoville…this is not news…but gossip. This woman has done a lot for his community and has been a good business owner in our City. This is nothing but a trash piece.

  32. Not that I’m a fan, or care about her show, but this is West Hollywood (and this applies to most of Los Angeles), people. Get over it. Expect TV and film crews to show up in public places. It helps drive the economy of our community.

  33. People can be so nasty. All this woman has done is take a dump of a corner and fixed it up to a beautiful new restaurant/bar. Unbelievable.

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