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Tom Schwartz's Throwback Instagram of Britney Spears Gives a Glimpse at SUR's Past
Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval open up about the Vanderpump Rules restaurant's long history of celebrity clientele.
SUR has always been a West Hollywood hotspot — even before Vanderpump Rules.
Tom Schwartz recently reminded us of that fact when he shared a throwback photo of Britney Spears exiting the restaurant through its famous back alley, which has served as the location for many memorable moments on Vanderpump Rules over the years. "Britney strolling out of [SUR] back in the day," Schwartz captioned the August 26 Instagram post. "Adding more folklore to the back SUR parking lot."
Schwartz and his Vanderpump Rules BFF Tom Sandoval provided more context to the image during their appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on September 28. "This happened before I worked there," Sandoval said.
Sandoval and Schwartz, who also showed their support for the #FreeBritney movement amid the singer's ongoing conservatorship case, underscored how "exclusive" SUR was at the time. "SUR was very much, like, a destination for big actors. Like, Robert De Niro. Like, everybody would go there," Sandoval added. "But when Vanderpump Rules happened, it changed."
Presumably, that was because the SURvers became celebrities themselves with many diners coming to the restaurant just to catch a glimpse of them after Vanderpump Rules began airing in 2013, which was described in an "Uncensored" episode that took viewers behind the scenes of Season 1. "People are now more interested in asking us questions than ordering food," Scheana Shay recalled in the special that aired in 2016, with Lisa Vanderpump adding, "Everybody would want a picture."
Back in May, Lala Kent recalled a little star-studded mix-up she found herself in the middle of while working at SUR. "I sat Avril Lavigne when she was dating the guy from Nickelback [Chad Kroeger], and they called and made a reservation," Lala said during an appearance on the WWHL After Show last spring (clip below). "I thought they said 'Adam Levine.' So when Avril walked in, I told her she had to wait for a table because I was expecting Adam. And I got ripped for that."
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