In addition to her occupation of your home DVR thanks to roles on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules, Lisa Vanderpump sits on a throne as one of L.A.’s most compelling restauranteurs. Together with her husband, Ken Todd, the tycoon—’housewife’ hardly seems befitting—owns two well-liked L.A.-area hideaways, Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills and Sur Restaurant & Lounge in the heart of West Hollywood.
Before moving to the U.S., Vanderpump had designed numerous London bars with her husband, one of which is credited as the first gay cocktail lounge on the city’s West End. In addition to her business acumen, Vanderpump has long touted her support of LGBT causes, having been a steadfast advocate against discrimination. (She was vocal via social media during the gay community’s kerfuffle with Chick-fil-A, for instance.)
“I’m so excited to be opening PUMP on the gayest corner in West Hollywood,” says Vanderpump. “My roots with the LGBT community run back to the last millennium, when I opened Shadow Lounge in the heart of Soho in London, along with other gay clubs. My work with GLAAD here in America and supporting marriage equality and gay rights has been such an important part of my life, and this project is an absolute delight for me.”
Local gays took note when it was announced in February of last year that Vanderpump had purchased prime real estate on the corner of Santa Monica and Robertson Boulevards, a spot that in the last decade has seen restaurants and a coffee shop come and go but has never quite found its Boystown groove. With a lawsuit seeking to enjoin Vanderpump’s construction plans now put to bed (there was a dispute over rights to the 8948 Santa Monica Boulevard lot), PUMP, a swanky resto lounge that will cater to West Hollywood’s upscale gay clientele, is on the fast track to fruition.
The doors of PUMP are currently scheduled to open later this month, and only Frontiers is offering a sneak peek of the still-in-the-works space, sure to be a calm oasis among the area’s current after-dark offerings.
Photos by Phil Lobel