One-Star Reviews of Celebrity-Owned Businesses
Lots of celebrities have more going for them than a pretty face. Many famous movie stars and filmmakers are also pretty business savvy. They’re able to use their name recognition and star power to create or invest in outside ventures.
But just because you love a celebrity doesn’t mean you’ll love their business, whatever it may be. Businesses can still not be perfect even if the celebrity who owns all or part of it seems to be. In fact, some people are even more disappointed when a business doesn’t live up to all the hype because of the celebrity attachment.
So here are some one-star reviews of unhappy customers at celebrity-owned businesses. Some are entertaining, and some get personal in their scathing reviews. All come from Yelp.
Draper James in Nashville, Tennessee
One-star review: “We expected quality, classic clothing. Went out of our way just to go see the store. We found grandmas picnic table made into clothing and embellished with her lace Curtains. I'm not sure who these clothes would look cute on. Save your trip.” — Jenny S.
Background: Reese Witherspoon is the founder and owner of the lifestyle and clothing company Draper James. While much of its business is done online, there’s a physical storefront in Nashville. And while plenty of the reviews of the storefront are glowing and happy, not everyone is feeling the movie star’s foray into fashion. It’s a safe bet that this reviewer likely won’t be back and probably won’t be perusing the online selections anytime soon.
Nobu in Los Angeles
One-star review: “Horrible steak, better off going to Sizzler. At least you'll get a salad the way you want it.” — Glenn Z.
Background: Robert De Niro is a part owner in Nobu, the high-end sushi restaurants you can find in a handful of cities including London, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Known for its beautiful views and high prices, Nobu doesn’t cut corners on quality or costs. Or, at least that’s what it seems to promise. But one Los Angeles restaurant visitor had a very different experience with the food that left them less than impressed. Hopefully De Niro can manage some of his anger at reviews like this.
Joanne Trattoria in New York City
One-star review: “Lady Gaga! Do you even like your own restaurant food?? Spaghettis have no taste !! It was raw , too much sauce in pastas. Chicken was dry and sour. Keep in mind ,gratuity is included on tab.
Atmosphere and music are nice.” — Ugur K.
Background: Named after her aunt, her middle name and her very pink album, Lady Gaga is a part owner in this restaurant that is run by her parents. The small Italian restaurant promises meats (not in dress form), pastas and all sorts of classic Italian food. Many lovers of Lady Gaga go just to possibly meet her parents or glimpse the superstar herself if she’s around. But a good number of Yelp foodies and reviewers find Mother Monster’s family food, well, monstrous.
New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles
One-star review: “The New Beverly was once one of the finest places in the city to watch a diverse, extremely wide and well-curated selection of films from across the big expanse of film history. Now it's become a literal temple to Quentin Tarantino's vanity.” — gabriel s.
Background: In a city filled with filmmakers, there are a number of arthouse and independent cinema spaces where people can go when they want to watch something other than a blockbuster. One of those theaters was bought not long ago by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. As the owner, he obviously has say in the types of movies that are shown at the theater. And there are some people who aren’t exactly in agreement with his taste.
DASH in Los Angeles
One-star review: “this store is like an overpriced forever 21 with ugly socks.” — Linda L.
Background: Owned and made famous by the Kardashian family, this now-closed storefront was often prominently featured on their E! Show “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” Because of the show’s popularity coupled with each Kardashian sister’s popularity, plenty of people came to see what all the hype was about.
The workers at the store had a name, “DASH Dolls,” and even got their own spinoff show that didn’t last very long. So anyone visiting Los Angeles who was a fan of the show and wanted to see what all the hype was about could visit the store. But not everyone was impressed with what they experienced.
Wahlburgers in Various US Cities
One-star review: “Very subpar food. Mushy, bland.. Cafe Med was muuuuch better! You suck Mark Wahlburger.” — Lola B.
Background: Mark Wahlberg and his family are proud owners of this national chain of restaurants. In fact, they’re so proud that they even have a show that revolves around their casual dining restaurant. The first restaurant was near their hometown in Massachusetts, but it has since branched off into 26 locations across the United States.
Between Mark’s individual star power and the show’s popularity, the entire Wahlberg crew have become synonymous with good food and good times. Though, to be fair, the good food portion of their reputation doesn’t ring true for many pun-loving Yelp reviewers.
Wahlburgers in Various US Cities, Part Two
One-star review: “Remember in boogie nights when Wahlburg lost his job as a porn star and tried his hand in music??
These burgers are worse than his singing....Awful burgers. Very disappointed. Stick to movies- because these burgers and the menu really suck.” — Mister F.
Background: Since there are so many locations and so many reviews, it only seemed appropriate to feature one more review from the West Hollywood, California location. While many reviewers are able to separate the personalities of the owners from the chains themselves, some people can’t. And, for this reviewer, the negative experience they had at the restaurant reminded them of a very specific moment in a Wahlberg movie that they felt the need to use in the review.
Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet in Columbus, Ohio
One-star review: “I wished I could agree and give at least 4 or 5 stars.....Guess the Big Star Name drew me in.......shame shame on me....
Wow.....Stay Away Far Away, if you want a dealership that doesn't care about the buyers time, and has no respect for the people they sell cars to. Then this is the place to go....
Im calling this ‘Marky Mark and the Clown Bunch’.” — John M.
Background: Wahlburgers isn’t the only non-entertainment-oriented venture for Mark Wahlberg. He owns and has named a Chevrolet dealership in Ohio. Though he only visits occasionally, it seems the dealership benefits from his name recognition with plenty of reviewers mentioning that they chose to come to the dealership for his star power alone. That doesn’t mean, however, that every customer who came in was satisfied with their experience. And, in fact, this reviewer admits disappointment with the service for multiple — often personal — reasons.
Polo Bar in New York City
One-star review: "Unfortunately, if you're not of a certain look or clothed a certain way, don't expect to even sit at the bar. I always thought a dollar is a dollar. Not at this arrogant watering hole." — Keith J.
Background: Ralph Lauren, the mind and mogul behind the well-known clothing and design corporation, also has a bar. And, unsurprisingly, the bar is not far from one of the Ralph Lauren stores in New York City. So you can easily go shopping and then unwind from the spending with a drink, which sounds pretty nice. Though, to be fair, not everyone has the most positive experience when frequenting the bar, especially if they’re apparently not looking up to Polo standards.
Fabletics Online (and 31 US Storefronts)
One-star review: “I can't even begin to recollect the many arduous processes and phone calls and online chats I have had to drudge through with Fabletics, and I have STILL NOT got what I needed from them. It is a nightmare and the worst company I have ever done business with-DO NOT sign up- it is a trap!” —Molly S.
Background: Kate Hudson is the most famous face of Fabletics, and one of the founders of the workout clothing brand. And she’s collaborated with other famous fitness-lovers like Demi Lovato, who created her own line within the brand. Though it does much of its business online, there are a few storefronts you can visit to try on the products. Their business model, however, seems to be somewhat controversial with their review pages teeming with people who were frustrated by the seemingly automatic sign up for monthly shipments of the product (whether you buy online or in person).
40/40 Club in New York City
One-star review: “Not good at all this place sucks and is stuck in the Jermaine Dupree days flat out sucks” — Eric R.
Background: If the 40/40 Club sounds familiar to you, that’s likely because its owner, Jay-Z, has no problem including it in his own lyrics. Even with the glitz and glamour surrounding the name and the owner, lots of visitors have issues with elements of the club.
John Elway’s Crown Toyota in Ontario, California
One-star review: The armchairs at the Lounge/Waiting Area are very uncomfortable. Mr. John Elway I chalenge you to sit on your Armchairs and see how you would feel just a few minutes of sitting. The comfort zone of an ideal lounge armchair should be at least 106 degrees backrest. These are junk armchairs you are using. — Winston L.
Background: Mark Wahlberg isn’t the only celebrity to be in the car dealership business. Former football star John Elway owns several car dealerships, including this Toyota dealership in California. Like any celebrity who gives their name and image to a business, people feel they can respond with their complaints personally and directly to the famous name. And that’s exactly what this reviewer did.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple in Austin, Texas
One-star review: “Oh, I really, really wanted to love, to like Sandy Bullocks eating establishment. And, this review comes after four tries. The best part of Walton's is the building, even the interior feels like it's trying too hard. The food is not good. The tuna salad and chicken salads are too wet (yuck!).” — Heidi B.
Background: Sandra Bullock lives in Texas, at least part-time. And she not only lives there, she invests in businesses there, including a bakery and general store in Austin. The country charm mixed with the hint of Bullock’s Hollywood glamour pleases many of the guests. Though it doesn’t please everybody, including this reviewer who, despite loving her and visiting the store multiple times, couldn’t bring themselves to give more than one star.
Au Fudge in Los Angeles
One-star review: “Was hoping it would be as cool as it seemed online. (Jessica Biel is one of the owners of this kid-friendly place.) Unfortunately, looks are deceiving. Scouted it with a friend. In one word: HORRIBLE. Save your calories and cash. Absolutely flavorless food, bad service and depressing dark dining room. And that doesn't even account for the crying babies and toddlers running around, which is to be expected.
One of the signs says "Believe in Unicorns". . .and the next room has a (fake) unicorn head mounted on the wall. LA kids don't need another thing to send them into therapy. . .
Btw, $15 for 5 flavorless cheese curds with bland marinara. Yuck.” — Sheila R.
Background: Like her husband, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel has made investments outside of the entertainment industry, including in this tasty bakery and play-oriented children’s business. Recently, Au Fudge shared that they were closing their general store after a couple years of business, but they would still be open for private parties and events. Despite the store having a somewhat “magical” brand about it, it’s clear from this review that some of the visitors didn’t find anything nice to say, but said it anyway.
Trejo’s Tacos in Los Angeles
One-star review: “If you're 3 years old and eat a child's plate then by all means eat here. $5.50 for a street taco?! Seriously...... Danny Trejo you should be ashamed of yourself for these tiny, high priced hors d'oeuvres! We drove over 50 miles to eat here and on top of that we had to pay to park in the business's parking lot! Shameful! Needless to say we didn't eat. Way to expensive for a single taco!!” — Tammie W.
Background: Character actor Danny Trejo knows his brand. He’s uses his face and intimidating style to entice people to visit Trejo’s Tacos, a fast casual restaurant chain in various locations in the Los Angeles area. And, as is the case for many unhappy reviewers, he is personally blamed when certain store standards are not met or customers are disappointed.
Trejo’s Cantina in Woodland Hills, California
One-star review: “I give this place a star because I have to in order to give a review but I will rate this place a 0. Server Jajaira wasn't polite and was not attentive at all. Food was good but very over priced. One taco was $6.00! We had to ask for chips and salsa, never once asked if we needed a refill on our drinks or anything. Sorry Danny Trejo, we love you though :D” — Paris H.
Background: Along with the fast casual food experience, Trejo also has two restaurant cantinas in the Los Angeles area. Many reviewers who are unable to separate the man from the food products he lends his name to. But this reviewer wanted Trejo to know that, despite being disappointed in the food, he still loved the celebrity.
Mermaid Oyster Bar in New York City
One-star review: “nice oysters. douchey gilmore girls bartender.” — Shannon W.
Background: “Garden State” and “Scrubs” star Zach Braff is known for his humor and quirkiness. So it only seems appropriate that he’s at least part owner in a restaurant with “mermaid” in its name. Plenty of people admittedly love this New York City spot. But some people feel they were coaxed in by mermaid’s song only to be (entertainingly) disappointed in the end.
The Eating Establishment in Park City, Utah
One-star review: “The water was cold and the waitresses cute, otherwise no reason to come. Food was cold and tasteless and uninspired to say the least! Service was awful too!” — Tracy L.
Background: “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell is a part owner in this succinctly named restaurant in Utah. Hopefully his good sense of humor will help as he and the other owners and operators of this business juggle the varying reviews from customers. This particular customer seemed to at least start off with positives about the restaurant, though it’s clear from where the rest of the review goes that, at least for them, it was a one-star experience.
Vanderpump Dogs in Los Angeles
One-star review: “Ugly pink building. Hate the owners with a passion. Overpriced. Parking sucks. Location sucks. Not worth going to. The place is too pink. If Barbie, the doll, walked in, she'd probably hate it there too. There's not enough pink to cover up their less than stellar work.” — M L.
Background: Before she was a Real Housewife, Lisa Vanderpump was a business owner and restaurateur. She now owns three restaurants and even produces a spinoff show based on the waitstaff at one of them. But, in her spare time, the famous dog lover also runs a dog adoption and grooming business in Los Angeles. Not everyone is a fan, however. People find all sorts of things to complain about, including something as simple as the bright color choice.