On this episode of Table 42, Paul Barron takes us to his hometown, Los Angeles. Amidst the hustle and the bustle of the city, you will find starving artists and celebrity actors– all looking for a little camera time. And there’s one place you can find it without an audition, you just need a reservation.
SUR, which stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant, is a high-end concept, known for its deliciously composed dishes and perfectly shaken drinks. The attractive waitstaff might look a bit familiar to you, too. That’s because SUR is also the set of the wildly popular reality Bravo TV show “Vanderpump Rules” and occasionally makes an appearance on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Guillermo Zapata opened and ran the restaurant for 10 years before partnering up with the Real Housewife cast member, Lisa Vanderpump Todd and her husband, Ken Todd. Since then the restaurant has expanded to an over 8000 square feet space– giving the trendy concept tons of space to welcome guests. Guillermo is always looking for new projects and challenges, so a second SUR Restaurant & Lounge locations might be on the horizon.
“I’ve always said to every man Villa Blanca is where you take your wife. Sur is where you take your mistress. And now Pump can be where you take your boyfriend,” said Vanderpump in the past about the concepts.
The original idea for SUR came from one of Zapata's culinary adventures, when he walked into a restaurant and was fascinated by the incredibly attractive staff, many of which were aspiring actors and actresses themselves.
“I start looking around and I find this good-looking guy, good-looking lady you know as waiters. [They] all look like actors or models. This feels like we’re on set in here.”
So Zapata was inspired to create his own sexy restaurant with not only eye-catching staff members, but a sexy scenery to match.
Partnering with the Vanderpumps and the use of the restaurant as the backdrop for reality TV shows has only helped the restaurant grow in popularity.
But bringing cameras into a hospitality business can put a lot of pressure on a team. No stranger to the limelight, Zapata says pressure like that drives him.
“You know, for me, pressure is good so I don’t find that as a bad thing. I need to be under pressure, I need to be in a challenge. If there’s competition next to me, I love it,” said Zapata.
Watch the episode above to learn more about the trendy West Hollywood destination!