Eva Longoria Revamps Business Side of Beso Restaurant

Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria’s Beso restaurant in Las Vegas is undergoing some financial restructuring with news that a subsidiary of Landry’s Restaurants of Houston is buying the Beso LLC assets out of bankruptcy for $1 million. The move means Longoria will contractually obligated to make appearances at the Vegas location.

The plans were publically released last week and a sales plan filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Nevada states that Beso’s landlord and Landry’s are conditioning the asset purchase on Longoria’s continued involvement with Beso and Eve Nightclub. According to the sales plan, Landry’s subsidiary will be the 100 percent owner and manager of the restaurant and nightclub business but Longoria will maintain a 30 percent stake in a newly formed entity “that will have the right to use the Beso assets”. Fifty percent of this entity will be held by Landry but, at Longoria’s insistence, Beso investor Jonas Lowrance will hold the remaining 20 percent.

Longoria is reported to have nearly $500,000 in legal fees in pending lawsuits pitting Beso investors against each other, but Landry is allegedly covering her for these legal troubles. This indemnification agreement, which was signed by Longoria, states that if Landry’s Beso subsidiary has to pay judgments or damages against Longoria, they could reduce her equity stake in the new entity. However, it also states that in no event will her stake fall below 10 percent.

Beso Las Vegas is located in CityCenter, an MGM Resorts International hotel and casino development located on the Las Vegas Strip. It is reported that Beso is behind in rent to the tune of $3,575 million and CityCenter has had the right for months to evict Beso and seize its tenant improvements. However, fortunately for Longoria, CityCenter has stood behind the restaurant during the bankruptcy and even searched for investors to help save the business. Their search was what led to Landry’s involvement that began on August 8 when Landry fronted $300,000 in cash to prevent Beso’s closure.

While some investors aren’t happy about Landry stepping in, attorneys for Beso said the purchase offer is the “best option to sustain the business, preserve some 50-60 jobs and provide some return for creditors”.

Also in Friday’s filing, it was noted, “Landry’s expressed an interest in purchasing the debtor’s business on condition that the lease could be negotiated with the landlord and Eva Longoria would continue to be associated with the business. Those two conditions can be met.”

Despite generating revenue of nearly $14.6 million in 2010, Beso LLC closed Eve nightclubs this summer to save money and initial filings listed some $5.7 million in debt and liabilities.

Regardless, Landry’s is confident that they can turn the business around because of “its management and marketing expertise as well as its pricing power with vendors.” Landry’s operates restaurant chains Rainforest Café, Landry’s Seafood House and Claim Jumper in addition to Golden Nugget casinos.

Source and photo: Vegas, Inc.

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