Don’t Shit Where You Eat: Amid ‘Vanderpump Rules’ scandal, Schwartz & Sandy’s gets an old lesson

Schwartz & Sandy’s Lounge (S&S), a Los Angeles bar and restaurant co-owned by reality stars Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz and featured on “Vanderpump Rules” (“VPR”), is ground zero in an ongoing scandal affecting the future of your real world business.

Will the impact be negative or positive in the long term? The answer depends on several factors, and Salon asked a Bravo expert to weigh in.

Last Friday, TMZ broke the news that Ariana Madix, Sandoval’s girlfriend and “VPR” co-star, had ended their 9-year relationship after discovering Sandoval was embroiled in a cheating scandal. with another co-star, Raquel (Rachel) Leviss.

From there, the intricate and messy details of an adventure that wouldn’t affect anyone outside of a relatively small circle of friends and coworkers, if they weren’t part of a popular Bravo reality show, has become a level JFK/Grassy Knoll. putting together facts and rumors that result in friends and fans taking sides and taking it out on S&S.

Today the web sphere is flooded with people from all walks of life who are learning both “VPR” and S&S for the first time, due to what is now known as the #scandoval. For anyone new to the drama of this show and the businesses that have appeared like little freckles on their shoulder, an easy conclusion to come to is that this cheating business is all.”for qualifications“But there are real lives and relationships being played with here.

Sure, one could claim that signing up to be on a reality show is an “at your own risk” scenario, and applying to work at a place like S&S or TomTom, another bar owned by the same owners, would imply some downsizing in staff. both are filming locations and this is, above all, the playground of a TV show. But Yelp’s bad reviews, which have flooded every Vanderpump-adjacent establishment since last week, have a way of putting things in perspective by turning “good” bad publicity into simply bad publicity.

After a considerable delay due to Sandoval and Schwartz being new business owners learning their way, S&S officially opened its doors to the public in November 2022. As of this writing, the establishment only has 77 Yelp reviews, a small number which is not that unusual for a business that has only been around for a short period of time. What’s unusual, though, is what those Yelp reviews say.

TV personalities Tom Sandoval (L) and Ariana Madix attend the opening of Friends and Family at Schwartz & Sandy’s featuring the cast of ‘Vanderpump Rules’ at Schwartz & Sandy’s Lounge on July 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Amanda Edwards/fake images)“This business is being monitored by the Yelp support team for content related to media reports,” reads a banner at the top of the page, with another text box alerting to unusual activity that has affected the visibility of the reviews.

While it’s clear that the owners of S&S have been trying to remove some of the negative reviews that have recently been received on Yelp, a scan of the early ones still paints a clear picture of what’s going on below the surface.

In a March 4 review, one person gives it a one-star rating saying “great marketing for this place, but the pictures are misleading. The place is small, the decor is tacky, and the food is mediocre. Food and drink are much better at the Also, it was strange to see that Raquel was there to take pictures with the Toms, instead of Ariana.”

“There has been an intense reaction from fans around the world because this scandal is truly shocking.”

Further down the review, also from March 4, one person gives it a three-star rating, ending a lengthy review with, “By the way, I feel bad for Ariana, but I also think people should stop shaming Raquel. Tom’s the one who did it.” This to Ariana. He’s the one who deserves to have his head photoshopped over cockroaches.”

This has got to be confusing for someone visiting Los Angeles from somewhere else, maybe sitting in a hotel looking for a place for a late night drink, who might look at something like this and think, “Who the hell is Raquel? I’m just trying to get an espresso martini”.

Even with The New York Times reporting on this drama, “VPR” has been garnering so much press as the tenth season airs that Bravo resumed filming to capture the unfolding scandal in real time, a move that largely hasn’t. precedents.

Since the previous season was a nap in terms of fans feedback and general ratings, the timing of this may seem suspicious. Salon reached out to Maggie Kelley, founder of Best of Bravo, who chimed in with her thoughts on the matter and how she sees this playing out for S&S.

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“I see a lot of people commenting that they think this drama is fake and the production is a way to boost ratings. I don’t believe that at all. I think it’s very, very real,” Kelley said in an email. “As for Schwartz and Sandy’s, I could see it going either way. I could see fans wanting to go to the bar in case they run into Schwartz, Sandoval or Raquel, to see them in action and maybe have some tea. Or , I realized that people would never want to go there… Right now, I think people will flock to it hoping to see the ‘VPR’ filming.”

Ratings-wise, Kelley seems to think this is the best thing to happen to “VPR” in the show’s history.

“Obviously, there’s been an intense reaction from fans around the world because this scandal is truly so shocking. This is all anyone can talk about or wants to talk about,” Kelley continued. “The first few seasons of ‘VPR’ are the best reality shows I’ve ever seen, and we were all instantly hooked. In my opinion, it’s the biggest scandal in Bravo history because we’ve spent the last 10 years of our lives completely invested in it. the life of the Pumpers. Not only that, but there are so many layers when it comes to this group of friends, which makes the scandal even more gripping. We have a whole season of ‘VPR’ left to watch and analyze. . . and I know that more news will continue to come out. I don’t see this journey stopping anytime soon, and in fact, I think we’re just getting started.”

Salon reached out to S&S for a response to the scandal, but has yet to receive a response.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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