Figlio is going into West End development and will be operated by Kam Talebi whose company owns Crave. Figlio v3.0 will go into the space currently occupied by Sopranos, and Sopranos JP Samuelson will oversee Figlio v3.0. “Closing Figlio was the biggest ****ing mistake I’ve ever made,” says its creator, PARASOLE founder Phil Roberts. “Knowing that it will live again is tremendously gratifying, and I couldn’t be more pleased that Uptown’s iconic restaurant will be in the capable hands of Kaskaid Hospitality’s owner and CEO, Kam Talebi, a man I admire and whose organization I respect.” Ya gotta love Phil’s press releases. Eminently quotable. I am calling this new Figlio v3.0 because I really have a hard time accepting that il Gatto wasn’t anything more than Figlio v2.0 when all was said and done.
According to the press release: While the details of the licensing arrangement remain confidential, Roberts and Talebi confirm that Kaskaid Hospitality will be granted the rights to the FIGLIO name, graphic identity, menu items, and other brand assets. The agreement also grants Kaskaid Hospitality the option to open additional FIGLIO restaurants in other parts of the United States.
Now the interesting thing here to me is how smart a deal this is. Figlio will do great being re-born, it’s a great brand. Most people will forget it ever closed, the food style is on par with what Talebi’s company represents so they are not trading up or down and their company is in high growth mode right now . . . I can smell 10 Figlios in malls all over the Midwest in a few years from where I am sitting right now. I am also happy for Phil. Figlio’s is like a child of his, it deserved better than to be simply a memory.
Justin Warner won next Food Network Star over the weekend. You can read the details here. He was the pompadour-ed dude with all the lip gloss who was on Alton Brown’s team. So if you aren’t a viewer, and don’t even watch Food Network why should you give a shit? Well, if you are reading this then you at least have a passing interest in food and TV, and the last seven winners of Star are, in order: Jeff Mauro, Aarti Sequeria, Melissa D’arabian, Aaron McCargo Jr., Amy Finley, Guy Fieri, and the The Hearty Boys. Sequeria is a brand in search of a following. McCargo, Finley, or the Hearty Boys (I feel slimy just writing that!) are non-existent. Melissa and Jeff have popular brands on Food Network and like ‘em or not, they are relevant. Fieri is one of the biggest food brands in America. So, odds are about 50/50 that we will all be seeing a lot of Mr Warner, so you better get familiar. I am just praying he gets a lot of coaching from Alton and loses some of the ersatz pre-fab nature of his Star run. Young talented presenters are in short supply, lets see if this kid can make it happen