June has always been an incredibly important month for Lisa Vanderpump. The longtime LGBTQIA+ ally and prominent West Hollywood business owner has often thrown huge celebrations to honor Pride at her restaurants in the community.
But everything changed in 2020. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced Lisa to temporarily shut down her restaurants in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and the joyous Pride festivities we're used to seeing on Vanderpump Rules did not take place last year.
L.A. Pride is back for June 2021 with mostly virtual events, although the parade has been cancelled for the second year in a row. No matter what, Lisa has and always will be committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community in any way that she can. "Well it’s always been, you know, of [the] utmost importance to me, equality for all," she told The Daily Dish during an interview in late May. "And being raised without prejudice of any kind in my family has just been a beautiful thing."
As far as this year's Pride events go, Lisa said, "I’m sure there’ll be people on the streets that will still be remembering Pride and celebrating."
And they can now commemorate the occasion in one of Lisa's establishments. L.A.'s SUR, PUMP, and Tom Tom, as well as the Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Las Vegas are now all officially open again after their temporary shut-down last year. (Lisa confirmed in July 2020 that Villa Blanca would close permanently.)
Lisa previously opened up about how difficult the closures were, sharing her hope that she could be "one of the businesses that survives this," during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in April 2020. "It's been devastating. It's not just our business; it's our life as well. So many people have worked for us for years. Now they're all on unemployment," she shared. "Just everything's gone right now. We can't go in there, I can't see what's going on. It's been devastating. It's been really sad, I have to say."
Lisa told The Daily Dish that they took their time with reopening when they were given the green light to do so "because we wanted to make sure we were safe." That was especially the case with Tom Tom, which was the last of her businesses to reopen in May because of it being "more of a cocktail bar with food," according to Lisa.
She also noted that all of her restaurants had to abide by the state's reopening regulations, such as physical distancing, as they waited for all the restrictions to be lifted (California is set to do so on June 15). "It’s been a lot of work getting them up and running again," Lisa said of reopening her restaurants. "A lot of work."
Diners have definitely been waiting for the day when they could sip on a Pump-Tini and snack on some goat cheese balls once again. "I have to say they’re all very busy. They really are all very busy," Lisa said of how reopening has been going for her restaurants so far. "We wondered if they would come back and be that vital. We thought maybe it’d take a few months. But we were wrong. People want to be out. People are grateful. People have a different, renewed energy."
As things get back to normal at Lisa's businesses, including the upcoming return of DJ James Kennedy to SUR, she's also making some changes to one of her iconic establishments. It was teased that "something new is on the way" at SUR in a post on Instagram on June 7 showing the restaurant under construction.
In addition to her restaurants, Lisa also opened her Vanderpump Dogs rescue center in West Hollywood in 2016, which has found homes for more than 2,000 dogs since its launch. Lisa gives viewers a look at her animal advocacy and the rescue center's work in finding forever homes for pups like never before in the new Peacock original series Vanderpump Dogs.
Lisa opens up more about the new show, the origins of her passion for dogs, and whether or not she will be getting any more pets in the future in an exclusive interview with Bravo Insider.
All episodes of Vanderpump Dogs are now streaming only on Peacock.
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