Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd are just one of many sets of restaurateurs who have experienced financial setbacks on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite being a famed Real Housewife of Beverly Hills who indeed lives a life of luxury, the 60-year-old reality star was forced to close her bistro Pump last year and was barred from reopening on account of a reported tax dispute.
On Sunday, she and her husband were seen standing outside of the West Hollywood restaurant as she prepares to reopen its door on March 17, additionally claiming on Twitter that the tax dispute in question was a ‘$250 filing fee.’
Grand reopening: Lisa Vanderpump, 60, and her husband Ken Todd stand outside of their West Hollywood restaurant Pump as they prepare to open its doors this week following forced closure over a tax dispute
The British- born hospitality maven looked stylish in jeans and a pair of white platform sneakers with steel toes.
She held her beloved dog Puffy as she wrapped her body in a black coat with sparkling rainbow accents.
Lisa sported her favorite pink hue on her face mask as she continues to protect herself, despite revealing she is fully vaccinated.
She and Todd shared a sweet smooch on the cheek, as the longtime couple looked in good spirits as they gear up for the return of their workers and patrons this week.
As of this weekend restaurants in Los Angeles county can open for indoor dining with 25% capacity.
Good spirits: The restaurant has been shut throughout the pandemic and was barred from re-opening in recent months despite having outdoor space over what she calls a ‘$250 filing fee’
Despite the fact that the restaurant boasts outdoor seating and many neighboring places have been open in recent months, it was reported that the California Franchise Tax Board had ‘suspended’ Pump indefinitely.
Per The Sun, documents obtained report that restaurants with this standing are due to ‘failure to file tax returns, failure to pay taxes and/or failure to pay penalties/interest.’
Filings were reportedly made as recently as Feb. 2, but the restaurant’s status never changed, the website stating that past due tax returns or balances need to be paid to get in good standing.
Something seemingly got sorted out in the past month as the restaurant announced it would be reopening on St. Patrick’s Day.
‘Suspended’: Per The Sun , documents obtained report that restaurants with a ‘suspended’ standing are due to ‘failure to file tax returns, failure to pay taxes and/or failure to pay penalties/interest’
Business woman: She and her husband also own Pump, Tom Tom and SUR, all of which are the sites for her reality show Vanderpump Rules
Lisa had addressed the tax dispute first tweeting that the ‘taxes were delayed’ because ‘everybody was working from home and [the] restaurant was closed.’
But on Sunday, she shared that she had ‘got to the bottom of it,’ sharing the dispute was over a ‘$250 filing fee from 2016.’
She continued to tweet about her excitement for the re-opening, as she wrote: ‘Life is coming back! Sadly not for everyone. Thank you for your indomitable support.’
The restaurant had reopened on Oct. 28, but less than a month later she cryptically tweeted that they had ‘endeavored to open’ after ‘cost & consideration for the wellbeing of staff and guests’ adding ‘sadly many restaurants will not reopen.’
Clearing it up: But on Sunday she shared that she had ‘got to the bottom of it,’ sharing the dispute was over a ‘$250 filing fee from 2016…’
Excitement: She continued to tweet about her excitement for the re-opening, as she wrote: ‘Life is coming back! Sadly not for everyone. Thank you for your indomitable support’
Though the timing seemed to coincide with Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order and closure of Los Angeles dining to slow the spread of the virus, days later a Twitter patron shared that he had seen a company called Big Top Rentals appearing to clean out the joint.
Over the summer she was forced to close the doors of her restaurant Villa Blanca for good, and other eateries Tom Tom and SUR — which also serve as filming locations for her very popular Bravo reality show Vanderpump Rules — also faced COVID-19 related closures.
In February it was reported that her produce supplier for both Villa Blanca and Pump was suing both restaurants for unpaid produce.
TMZ revealed that West Central Produce had not received any payments for their services since March 2020 (right when the pandemic hit) and was seeking about $100K for costs and interest.
Shutting its doors: Villa Blanca announced it was closing for good in July 2020
Lawsuits: In February they found themselves embroiled in a lawsuit when their produce supplier West Central Produce alleged they were owed money; pictured 2019
Todd said to the outlet that he was not aware of the lawsuit but would made sure his accountants get WCP paid, calling COVID a tough time for everyone in the restaurant industry.
Their 2020 was off to a rocky start, as four days after the new year a silver Ferrari crashed into the restaurant.
Then when the pandemic hit their businesses took a turn, only to then be met with a scandal on Vanderpump Rules.
Veteran cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired from the show in June following racist behavior.
Tough start: Just four days into 2020 a silver ferrari crashed through their restaurant doors
Problematic behavior: Over the summer castmates Stassi, Kristen, Max and Brett were let go from the show following racially problematic behavior in the past
They had called the cops on a former Black employee, Faith Stowers as a joke, because she looked like an accused felon from an online article.
Schroeder’s other problematic statements were unearthed where she called an outfit ‘Nazi chic’ and also spoke out about award shows being made ‘about race.’
Other problematic tweets from Season 8 cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni also caused them to be let go from the show, Lisa speaking out about the situation in January on the Skinny Confidential podcast.
‘It wasn’t right what they did at all, but do I think they’re racist a thousand percent? — No. I have a lot of diverse people working for me that they [were] very close to over the years,’ she said.
The upcoming season of Vanderpump Rules has not begun filming yet, Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix telling Page Six: ‘Obviously, they want to do another season and they have every plan and intention of doing that, but it’s just because of the industry that we’re in, they don’t want to see us just like sitting in our houses.’
On hold: The upcoming season of the show is currently on hold due to the nature of their businesses as Sandoval told Page Six, ‘because of the industry that we’re in, they don’t want to see us just like sitting in our houses’