Urban Outfitters to add more in-store restaurants

Specialty retailer Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) plans to add eateries to some store locations. As part of the transition of the millennial shopping locations into lifestyle experience stores, acclaimed chefs like Marc Vetri, Michael Symon and Illan Hall are now working with the company.

Hall, the winner of "Top Chef" season two, opened a second outpost of his concept, the Gorbals, inside an Urban Outfitters in spring 2014, Eater reported. Now, the brand's Space 24 Twenty, opening in Austin, Texas, will be home to two or three restaurants run by Vetri and Symon, and possibly Josh Besh and Aaron Sanchez as well. 

The lifestyle concept aims to bring a heightened experience to shopping. Retailers have started offering all kinds of services in brick-and-mortar stores such as hair salons, coffee shops and personal stylists.

Urban Outfitters' first experience store opened in Los Angeles' Space 15 Twenty in 2008. Beyond apparel, the store includes a nail art studio, skateboard shop and a performance stage, not to mention a restaurant, Umami Burger.

In Brooklyn, New York, Space Ninety 8 has a staircase that opens up to a third-floor restaurant, the Gorbals, which services higher-end small plates and includes a rooftop bar.

Similarly, the new Austin store will be focused on bringing in the local college campus crowd. Vetri, who is opening the second location of his Pizzeria Vetri in Space 24 Twenty, will use produce from farmer's markets and serve local beers. Vetri will also curate a lineup of food trucks in the retailer's courtyard.

The stores and the restaurants do operate separately, essentially giving the chefs free range to do whatever they like. However, Urban Outfitters helps with the actual look and feel of the restaurant aesthetics.

The announcement about the eateries comes just days after the specialty store chain asked employees to work some extra hours for free on the weekends as the busy holiday season approaches.

For more:
-See this Eater article

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