Houston-based Landry's has signed on to "manage, own and operate" Beso, which opened in the new MGM CityCenter development in December 2009 and filed for bankruptcy in January 2011 with $5.7 million of debt to restructure. The Wall Street Journal cites a buyout offer of $1 million plus current operating costs while the deal is finalized. A Landry's representative tells CultureMap that figure is "not correct" but declined to disclose the actual offer.
According to Landry's owner Tilman Fertitta, Longoria will continue to be involved in the restaurant with a 30 percent ownership stake, CultureMap has learned exclusively. Fertitta told WSJ that the actress would "visit the restaurant when she came to town and maintain her say in the restaurant’s menu and direction."
“Eva created a landmark restaurant in the spectacular CityCenter and I look forward to working with her as my partner,” Fertitta said in a press release.
Beso opened with a splash, with Longoria and A-list friends like Kim Kardashian partying at the Latin-inspired steakhouse. But according to online reviews, the food was overpriced and mediocre (and cold, sometimes) and the service was amateur (and also cold, sometimes).
Can Tilman turn this restaurant around? Beso won't be the first Landry's concept in Vegas: In addition to the Golden Nugget hotel and casino, it also operates Rainforest Cafe, Landry's, Chart House, Vic & Anthony's, Grotto and Claim Jumpers concepts in the city.