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Celebrities who have taken on real-life roles as hospitality entrepreneurs

With enough money to have a taste for the finer things in life, countless celebrities have been keen to share their passion for wining and dining as hospitality entrepreneurs.
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Celebrity hospitality entrepreneurs

Robert De Niro is arguably one of the most prominent celebrity hospitality entrepreneurs, and the UK has been a destination of focus for him over the past year.

As co-founder of the Nobu restaurant and hotel chain, the Goodfellas actor’s Nobu Shoreditch Hotel opened on Saturday 1 July, with further global growth on the horizon.

And last summer, De Niro secured approval to open a Covent Garden-based boutique hotel called The Wellington, a sort of sister to his Greenwich Hotel in New York.

He’s not alone in this world of A-list hospitality entrepreneurs. We’ve rounded up details on the stars that spend time catering to consumers when they’re not singing and acting their hearts out.


Ashton Kutcher

It’s well known that Ashton Kutcher is a keen tech investor. In fact, Real Business sat in his presence at the Sage Summit in Chicago, during which time he spoke of his transition from TV and film to business.

His time producing TV shows in his twenties made him aware that digital media speeds were getting faster, which piqued his interest and lead him into tech.

“I started investing in various companies and learning by failing – a lot,” he said. And learning by sitting in rooms where I was the dumbest person and keeping my mouth shut, listening, and asking as many questions as I could.”

Outside of tech though, Kutcher has tossed his hat into the hospitality entrepreneurs ring, trying his luck as a restaurant owner. In partnership with his co-stars from That 70s Show, making a truly celebrity affair, Kutcher launched the Dolce Group of restaurants.

It comprised a few restaurants, inclusive of Italian-based namesake Dolce Enoteca in LA, which is now closed. And prior to the closure of Geisha House in 2013, the Japanese-themed bar and restaurant had its doors open for nine years, while American style diner Ketchup also shuttered.

It’s unclear what caused the decision to call it quits with the venues, some of which had opened in Washington DC and Riyadh, but a quick look at the Dolce Group website and seemingly the business no longer exists at all.

While Kutcher appears to have left the restaurant business behind, we’ve found one fellow actor whose eatery has been going for 13 years – even though it made him “broke” when he opened it.

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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