Sarabeth’s cafes to replace Forgione’s restaurants in Lord & Taylors

NEW YORK Renowned restaurateurs Sarabeth and Bill Levine, operators of five-unit Sarabeth’s Kitchen, have inked a deal with foodservice contractor Compass Group North America to open units of their upscale bakery-café concept in the Lord & Taylor department store chain, replacing celebrity chef Larry Forgione’s Signature Cafes.

The licensing deal between Sarabeth’s and Compass is for five years with automatic extensions built in, Bill Levine said. He added that while Compass Group will manage the restaurant operations, Sarabeth’s will be closely involved in developing the new décor and the menus. Breakfast and lunch dayparts will be offered, and possibly tea service and dinner in some locations, he noted.

The conversion of the eight restaurants to reflect Sarabeth’s décor and menu will begin in mid-July and the first one is expected to officially open in the fall. The rest will follow over a two-year period.

According to Levine, none of the Lord & Taylor restaurants will close during the redesign of the eateries.