"It's been such a whirlwind. It happened really quickly," the 'House of Villains' star tells PEOPLE
Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of a grand opening Halloween bash on Oct. 28, the former Vanderpump Rules stars dished on what guests can expect of the "laid back, family-friendly" establishment.
Cartwright notes that they got "very, very lucky" with their partners and the fact that the bones of the bar already existed from a previous venue. Plus, L.A. is notoriously very strict about liquor licensing, and they didn't have to worry about that, or any of that "structural stuff" like "moving plumbing around," says Taylor.
"We were able to just take it over and change the way it looks," says Cartwright, who handled the decor.
"It's a little upscale boujee with the palm leaves [on the walls]," she adds. "I wanted it to be very green. Because of Bravo, a lot of women will be coming in here, so we wanted it to be inviting for women and for men."
Black-and-white walls on the other side of the bar feature some "Andy Warhol-style" art of Taylor that Jeremy Madix made for him. The space also features a vibrant outdoor area and a large beer garden. "We had a mural artist come in and do this big mural outside," says Cartwright.
Life-size Jenga, darts, shuffleboard, and corn hole will be available for guests to play. Nearly a dozen TV screens line the outdoor area for sports fans and of course, reality TV show screenings on certain nights. They're also planning drag bingo and trivia games.
"We want it to be really fun for everybody," says Cartwright.
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The menu includes items like Jax's Burger, Fresh Prince Edward Island Black Mussels, a Caprese Wrap, and Arugala Flatbreads. Cartwright, a Kentucky native, even incorporated her family's famed "Mamaw's Beer Cheese" into the menu (a plot line when the two were on VPR.) There's also Brittany's Sweet Tea, plus featured cocktails include a Blackberry Basil Bourban Mule, a Skinny Margarita, a Watermelon Margarita, and Casa Mojito, to name a few.
"We wanted to make it affordable for everybody," Taylor says of the price point.
When asked if Taylor did any handy work in preparation for the opening, Cartwright quips, "Do you think Jax is handy? Me and Jax's sister Jenny [Cauchi] put in the whole succulent wall by ourselves. We went to the Home Depot and got all the flowers, went to succulent shops and picked up everything. Just running around like crazy."
"I stand around and point," Taylor jokes. "I drive my little golf cart here. It's a lot of fun."
Cartwright admits that she was a bit nervous about the venture at first, as Taylor has famously expressed how owning a bar "ruins relationships." But after finding the location that is just eight minutes away from their house, she really "warmed up quickly" to the idea and "started getting excited."
Taylor is taking this new opportunity seriously, and respects the fact that his three business partners, who are also parents to young kids, do not believe in drinking at their own bar. He says he got a lot of tips "of what to do and what not to do" — including some from TomTom owners Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval.
"I take everything that those two say with a grain of salt," he says with a laugh. "There's a big difference of how I'm doing it versus how they did it. They did not include their significant others at all. They weren't even allowed at the bar. That's a recipe for disaster if you're owning a business like that."
Even though he's the first to admit that "opening a bar isn't easy," Taylor is proud to be doing this with his wife.
"It's a weird thing. I've been [in L.A.] since 2005 and I never really felt like I've lived here. Michigan is my home because that's where I'm from." he says. "But now that I have an establishment with my name on it, it actually just makes me feel like I own something here."
Taylor adds: "This is finally my home."
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