In a move that no one saw coming, parts of the award-winning Philadelphia restaurant group, Vetri Family, is being sold to Urban Outfitters. Osteria, Amis, Pizzeria Vetri, Alla Spina and more will all be absorbed by the clothing retailer as part of their plan to become more of a lifestyle brand. Chef Marc Vetri, co-owner of the restaurant group, assures diners that "nothing is changing” and he intends on still being involved in every aspect of his businesses. “In meetings, everyone from Urban kept saying, ‘It’s more crucial than ever that you guys are at your restaurants,’ " he says. The group’s first restaurant, Vetri, and the restaurant group’s charitable foundation will not be sold to the clothing retailer. While the terms of the deal have not been officially disclosed, some media outlets have reported that the group of restaurants was sold for less than $20 million and the company has plans to attach pizzeria concepts to new Urban Outfitters locations.
Chef Vetri insists that the main reason for the sale is to have access to more capital for his restaurant group. It will be interesting to see how diners react to the news and what, if any, changes are made to these restaurants as part of the sale. Will more restaurant operators follow suit and partner with companies outside of the food world? Read more.