Nobu, the posh, high-end restaurant and hotel chain — backed by left-wing actor and raging Trump-basher Robert De Niro — took more than a dozen loans from the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In DeNiro’s eyes, President Trump is a “mean-spirited, soulless, amoral, abusive con-artist son of a bitch.” But that didn’t stop one of the actor’s prime investments from using the Trump administration’s loan program for cash, a loan program meant to help keep small business wrecked by the Chinese coronavirus financially afloat.
De Niro-backed Nobu restaurants took more than a dozen PPP loans https://t.co/pSYIdPeFUr
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 6, 2020
The Nobu chain of luxury restaurants and hotels took 14 loans from the U.S. small business relief program for as much as $28 million, which went toward properties across the country, from California, to Texas, to New York, according to a report by CNBC. Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa — the celebrity chef and owner of the restaurant chain — has a net worth of $200 million. Meanwhile, Robert De Niro — who co-founded it — is worth an estimated $500 million.
Restaurants were among the biggest recipients of PPP loans, which were part of the government’s response to financial difficulties that businesses faced during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The report added that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the program was not meant to go toward companies that could reasonably tap other forms of capital during the pandemic.
The luxury restaurant chain was founded by De Niro, Matsuhisa, and film producer Meir Teper, who combined are estimated to have a net worth of roughly $700 million.
The Nobu group appears to have garnered at least $11 million and as much as $28 million from PPP loans, making it one of the bigger beneficiaries of the program. And the luxury group is not the only well-funded chain to have received government bailouts.
P.F. Chang’s, Five Guys hamburgers. and Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits have also received multimillion-dollar loans. Cafe business Bluestone Lane was also given a loan worth between $5 million and $10 million.
The report added that franchisees of both McDonald’s and Wendy’s also appeared on the list and in some cases received loans of more than $150,000.