Actress Eva Longoria speaks at an election event hosted by Got Your 6 and… (Jason Arthurs / Getty Images )
Female diners are carving out their own space in the restaurant industry, with actress Eva Longoria's women-focused steakhouse SHe as the latest entry.
The former star of "Desperate Housewives" is closing her restaurant Beso and nightclub Eve in Las Vegas, and reopening the space as a haven for the ladies, complete with small plates and a catwalk for fashion shows. But men will still be welcome.
The restaurant venture is being backed by Tilman Fertitta's Landry's Restaurants Inc., which owns classic steakhouse chain Morton's. Landry's bought Beso for $1 million last year, bringing the restaurant out of bankruptcy.
SHe is scheduled to open New Year's Eve in the Crystals shopping space at the CityCenter. A news release envisions the eatery as "an updated interpretation of the gilded age when wealth and excessive opulence ruled America's upper-class combined with a modern version of art deco to create a feeling of empowerment, especially for female guests."
As many restaurant chains draw male diners with scantily clad waitresses — see the Tilted Kilt, the Heart Attack Grill, Twin Peaks, Show-Me's and more — some female diners have felt sidelined. And there's been a backlash.
Female-friendly pubs — with fewer beer-stained bar stools and more squeaky-clean bathrooms and luxurious sofas — are now opening up around the world, following the lead of chains such as the STK steakhouses. It has branches in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and refers to itself as a "sexy, female friendly steakhouse."
In South Korea, a restaurant called Mies Container uses attractive male servers to position itself as a sort of Hooters for women.
In Southern California, a young company called Waiters in Boxers hires out servers and bartenders clad only in boxer briefs for bachelorette parties and other women-focused events.