Lisa Vanderpump is giving ET an exclusive sneak peek inside her latest business venture!
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star invited a handful of our staff to tour and try out the delicious cocktails and delightful eats featured at TomTom, her new bar/restaurant in West Hollywood, California.
Just one step inside, and you immediately feel like you’re taken back into time thanks to the stunning industrial chic designs. The creations were custom-designed by Nick Alain, Vanderpump proudly told us, as we looked over the menu, which includes everything from delectable sliders to gourmet flatbreads and Vanderpump’s very own creation, “Vegan Pennette.”
The 57-year-old entrepreneur also sat down with ET’s Lauren Zima, where she explained exactly why she decided to go into business with her Vanderpump Rules cast members, Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval.
“One of the reasons that I chose them to be partners is that they were kind of breaking the fourth wall here,” she said. “But they are so honest and open on reality television and that makes very interesting watching, you know? Before we had people come into the show and you feel like they are doing this, or doing that and they just don’t ride well with the audience. The audience can see through it. And I think with Tom and Tom, they respected others. You see this incredible honesty, and I think that translates very well.”
Sandoval chimed in, telling ET that he’s “definitely grateful” and “very humbled” with the experience.
“I never take for granted where I’m at and what I’m doing,” he said. “It is really a source of happiness in my life, to be busy, to be doing things, to be moving forward.”
“I’ve been good at a lot of things in life, but I have never been a master of anything for the past few years,” Schwartz added. “[For the past] year and a half, we got to watch masters at work, and they’ve created something that didn’t exist — something in their imagination — and now it’s real and tangible.”
Here’s five other things we learned about Vanderpump, Schwartz, Sandoval and the new WeHo hot spot:
1. Vanderpump Rules cameras will film inside TomTom…
Vanderpump tells us, however, that filming won’t affect the restaurant setup — all furniture stays as is and the lighting remains the same — or the focus on her other popular establishment, Sur. “With TomTom, it’s going to be slightly different,” she explained. “The main focus of the story has always been on Sur, and I think that’s the root of Vanderpump Rules. But surely we’ve covered a lot of this bar and I think also the viewer will be fascinated just by watching the progress.”
“We’ve been filming [for] quite a few months,” she continued. “I think you’ll see this play out and you’ll see the development of the design, and I think that [will be] really interesting for you guys to watch.”
2. …but don’t expect others from the original cast to be behind the bar!
“Certainly we sometimes pull from the other restaurants just if we need help, but I don’t want to put them in a very difficult position,” Vanderpump said.
3. Schwartz has learned a lot by observing Sandoval.
“[I’d be] watching Tom at Sur sometimes,” Schwartz revealed. “I don’t work there, but I would be watching Tom… in the way he engages with customers. He looks them in the eye, he shakes their hand, he hugs them, he offers them a free drink. Not too many free drinks, but I’m saying, it’s just like, he’s got skills, and he’s got a great attitude, and I like to think I do, too. We really enjoy engaging with people.”
Added Sandoval, “I put in a lot of passion in my work, even when it’s bartending, or whatever it is. Whether it’s dressing up in costumes, I always go for it.”
4. Dare to try the “Lose Yourself” cocktail.
If you live in Los Angeles (or find yourself visiting!), step into TomTom and try Vanderpump’s latest signature drink, an absinthe-based cocktail.
“It’s a very unique, sort of flavor palette,” Sandoval explained. “The first thing you taste when you have it is the citrus, and there is pineapple in it, so that pineapple [then] takes over.”
“The vanilla flavor that the pineapple adds sort of goes into the liquorish flavor of the absinthe, and that is sort of trailing off the habanero,” he added. “The heat from the absinthe, the habanero crystals sort of come in and infuse that and just leaves you with this lasting impression.”
The verdict? Simply divine!
5. TomTom is a “dream come true” for Vanderpump.
“This has taken it to a whole new level,” the reality star gushed. “And for the first time ever, working with somebody else has been extraordinary.”
“It’s been really a different experience for me, and I’ve really enjoyed it, I have to say,” she added.
Hear more from the exclusive sit-down chat in the video below.
Lisa Vanderpump Reacts to Lindsay Lohan Getting Her Own ‘Vanderpump’-Style Show (Exclusive)
Inside Lisa Vanderpump’s Tom Tom Bar (Exclusive)
Star Sightings: Lisa Vanderpump Gives Sneak Peek of TomTom, Trisha Yearwood Serves Up ‘Summer in a Cup!’
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