As restaurant owners across the country make plans to reopen their dining rooms amid states lifting COVID-19-related closure mandates, Lisa Vanderpump has announced that one of her most iconic restaurants will shutter permanently.
On July 10, the former "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star confirmed that Villa Blanca will not reopen after closing temporarily in March.
Opened in 2009, the celebrity hotspot had been a central setting for watching the well-to-do sip rosé on "RHOBH" and its spinoff, "Vanderpump Rules."
The restaurant closed temporarily, along with Vanderpump and husband Ken Todd's other restaurants, on March 16 with an official announcement on Instagram.
"Together we will get through this and come out stronger on the other side," the post read.
Over the years, the restaurateurs have faced multiple lawsuits from Villa Blanca employees, including a waitress who alleged she was sexually assaulted and harassed by a manager.
In an official statement given to the Daily Mail on July 10, Vanderpump explained that the restaurant's 12-year lease was about to end and the rent required to remain in the space had become exorbitant over time.
"If the landlord had been willing to renegotiate and the lease wasn’t ending, we would have reopened, but unfortunately with Coronavirus, the situation was beyond our control," she said.
Vanderpump's team confirmed the closure and the statement provided to the Daily Mail with TODAY Food.
Shortly before Vanderpump released her own official statement, former "RHOBH" co-star Kyle Richards commented on Villa Blanca's closure during an episode of "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" on July 8.
When Cohen asked Richards about her reaction to the restaurant closing, she replied, "All the restaurants are so hard hit in Los Angeles. It really didn’t surprise me at all."
Vanderpump and Todd have been in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. Her other Los Angeles locations include Pump, SUR and Tom Tom, her newest West Hollywood venture with Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval, who recently launched a cocktail book with girlfriend and fellow "Vanderpump Rules" co-star Ariana Madix. Vanderpump also owns Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Though Villa Blanca's 12-year lease was set to expire soon, Vanderpump said she does not expect this will be the finite end of the restaurant. In her statement, the restaurateur called the eatery's staff "family," and expressed hope that she might be able to employ them at her other local restaurants or rehire them if they find another location for Villa Blanca in the future.