Urban Outfitters may have just closed the Intelligentsia coffee shop it housed in its flagship store in New York’s Herald Square, but that’s not stopping the retailer from getting into the restaurant business. It has an eatery in its new concept store in Austin, Texas, as well as places to nosh in its stores in Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
The Herald Square location has only been open since last year. Now, “no one’s sure what Urban will do with the now-vacant space next,” Sprudge.com notes. Beyond Manhattan, however, Urban Outfitters may “be the best way to access restaurants from some of the best chefs in the country,” notes Eater.com.
Top-name chefs such as Marc Vetri, Michael Symon, Ilan Hall, and reportedly John Besh and Aaron Sanchez are working with the retailer.
Top Chef Season Two winner Hall now operates a restaurant, The Gorbals, at UO’s Space Ninety 8 concept store in Los Angeles and is opening a second location in the hipster haven that is Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
In addition, Urban Outfitters’ new Space 24 Twenty concept store that’s opening soon in Austin is slated to have two to three restaurants within it to enhance the pop-up stores, live events, music and other activities that will be part of its retail environment, Eater notes.
This is all supposed to give consumers something they can’t get from shopping online: a full experience. The in-store food and beverage options are designed to enhance the customer experience and put shoppers in the mood to relax and enjoy themselves, with music and other experiential events also on the menu at UO’s concept stores.
Urban Outfitters’ Space 15 Twenty, which opened in 2008 in Los Angeles, features a nail art studio, a skateboard shop and a stage for performances as well as Umami Burger. The stores and restaurants operate independently and promote their own brand partners, designers and events.
Along with the restaurants in the Austin Urban Outfitters, which is set to open in November, renderings of the Space 24 Twenty store there also show there is space for food trucks to park, Austin Eater reports.
Meanwhile, in the City of Brotherly Love, where the company is based, Urban Outfitters is in the midst of constructing the Devon Yard “lifestyle village” that will include two restaurants and an outdoor café. Devon Yard will also include UO’s retail siblings, with outposts for Anthropologie and Terrain as well.