The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Morton died at his residence Saturday afternoon and the Beverly Hills Police Department is investigating. According to TMZ, Morton was found unresponsive in his Beverly Hills home by a family member and was pronounced dead by paramedics who arrived on the scene. No foul play is suspected, according to the report.
Pink Taco released a statement remembering Morton following news of his death.
“We are saddened by the passing of Harry Morton, the founder and former owner of Pink Taco,” it reads. “Harry was a visionary and restaurateur ahead of his time, and his contributions, both professionally to our brand and personally to those he worked with, were numerous. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Morton came from a family of restaurateurs. His father, Peter Morton, co-founded the Hard Rock Cafe, and Harry’s grandfather, Arnie Morton, founded Morton’s Steakhouse.
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Harry Morton founded Pink Taco in 1999 when he was 18. He also purchased the Viper Room, where Joaquin Phoenix’s brother River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993, in 2008. In a 2013 review of the infamous venue after it was reimagined, Variety‘s Whitney Friedlander wrote that “Morton and his team are finding ways to prove the club is still a central music destination in Los Angeles, while also adding some sleek, modern touches.”
Morton recently made headlines for purchasing the Elvis Presley estate in Beverly Hills for $25.5 million. According to the L.A. Times, the property had been previously owned by Morton’s father for about two years. The elder Morton sold the property back in 2014 for $14.5 million.