Fertitta could buy Eva Longoria's Beso

Actress’s Las Vegas Latin-influenced steakhouse has been in bankruptcy since January

Houston hospitality executive Tilman Fertitta has teamed up with “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria to manage and perhaps buy her troubled Beso restaurant in Las Vegas.

Fertitta has bought other concepts out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy deals in the past year, including Claim Jumper and Oceanaire Seafood Room.

Beso LLC, the company through which Longoria and her investors run the Latin-influenced Center City steakhouse, filed notice of Fertitta’s plans in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Beso has been in bankruptcy since January. Beso lawyers said Landry’s also intended to offer $1 million to buy Beso. Other offers would have to be considered.

Fertitta, the owner and chief executive of Houston-based Landry’s Restaurants Inc., was traveling on Wednesday and unavailable for comment. But his spokeswoman released a statement that quoted him as saying, “Eva created a landmark restaurant at the spectacular City Center, and I look forward to working with her as my partner at Beso.”

Longoria is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, where Landry’s has hospitality holdings. Fertitta also has properties in Las Vegas, including the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, as well as several of Landry’s restaurant concepts, including Landry’s Seafood House, Chart House, Rainforest Café and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse.

In an interview with VegasInc.com [3], Fertitta said, “Longoria would continue to hold a substantial equity stake in the business, would visit Beso when she is in Las Vegas, and maintain her involvement in its direction and menu.” He declined to say what percentage Longoria would hold.

Fertitta also told VegasInc.com that he was attracted to Beso because of the high volume of business, “nearly $14.6 million in gross revenue in 2010,” and was looking at re-opening Beso’s shuttered Eve nightclub.

Both the restaurant and nightclub are in the posh Crystals shopping center, part of the MGM Resort International City Center complex on the Las Vegas Strip.

Fertitta also has been active pursuing other acquisition opportunities lately. Earlier, he attempted to buy Portland, Ore.-based McCormick & Schmick’s, but terminated his hostile bid in July [4], saying he would participate in the seafood chain’s sale process.

Landry’s has variety of hospitality holdings ranging from restaurants and aquariums to casinos, and is wholly owned by Landry’s Inc.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] [5].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless [6]