Thursday, November 19, 2015

Acclaimed Philadelphia restaurateur Marc Vetri
announced this week that he's selling his restaurant empire to Urban
Outfitters.
Read on for more.
Well here's an odd business deal: acclaimed Philadelphia
restaurateur Marc Vetri announced this week that he's selling his restaurant
empire to Urban Outfitters.
Yes, that Urban Outfitters, the hipster clothing
store.
Philly.com reports that Urban Outfitters is set to acquire Osteria, Amis,
Alla Spina, Lo Spiedo, and the burgeoning chain Pizzeria Vetri by the end of
this year.
As a subsidiary of Urban Outfitters, the Vetri Family will continue
to be run by Vetri himself as president and Jeff Benjamin as COO.
Meanwhile,
the group's top two chefs and partners Jeff Michaud and Brad Spence will
take on culinary director roles for the company.
To the relief of fans, the group's flagship restaurant Vetri will not be
part of the sale.
Vetri explained to Philly Mag that the restaurant simply
wasn't made to be expanded, saying, "It's a one-and-done.
It's a
culinary learning center.
A research facility.
A testing facility.
… It
doesn't make sense for Urban to own something like that." But it seems
you can expect to see the rest of the Vetri Family of restaurants expand
outside of their Philadelphia home base in the future with this new
partnership.
In fact, Pizzeria Vetri is just days away from opening the
group's first-ever restaurant outside of Philadelphia in what was a
previously announced partnership with the city's brand new Urban
Outfitters-owned lifestyle development complex that will also house another
restaurant and a bar in Austin.
This isn't the first restaurant venture for Urban Outfitters.
Eater
published a piece last month detailing the chain's history with
"experience retail," which began in 2008 with the opening of a Los Angeles
lifestyle complex sporting an Umami Burger outpost.
Last year, Urban opened a
similar complex in Brooklyn with a restaurant from Top Chef season two winner
Ilan Hall.
Philly.com notes that those restaurants and Urban's other food
and beverage brands will be folded into the Vetri Family under this new
merger.
Although apparently they're not opening restaurants inside actual Urban
Outfitters stores—these lifestyle complexes are a whole different
thing—this week's news does sound like something out of The Onion.
And,
fortunately, The Onion has obliged, writing, "Look, sometimes you need a
Bluetooth cassette adapter and some Gorgonzola gnocchi and you only want to
make one stop." Acclaimed Philadelphia restaurateur Marc
Vetri announced this week that he's selling his restaurant empire to Urban
Outfitters.
Read on for more.

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