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Restaurant & Hospitality

The restaurant and hospitality industry is known to have an extraordinarily high mortality rate for new ventures in the first five years of operation. The reasons behind those failures are many — location selection, lack of start-up capital, vague brand identity, inconsistent service, partner or employee disputes, and even mission drift. In today’s ultra-competitive food and beverage marketplace, where guests are sophisticated and business challenges come from both expected and unexpected places, it is imperative that foodie entrepreneurs, restaurant groups, celebrity chefs, craft brewers, hotel owners and investors engage a strong team of advisors to limit bumps along the road to success.

Our Restaurant & Hospitality team is experienced and ready to assist at every stage of the business lifecycle:

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Restaurant & Hospitality Representative Matters


Corporate, Franchise and Tax Law

  • Represented a foreign quick serve restaurant franchise in the expansion of its operations to the US, including corporate, governance and tax matters.
  • Represented a cider house in governance matters.
  • Representation of New Jersey franchisee with respect to the opening of several New Jersey locations and joint venture with Pennsylvania franchisee.
  • General corporate counsel to New York City based craft brewer.
  • Representation of owner of several New Jersey restaurants with respect to general corporate matters.
  • Represented owner of two highly acclaimed New York City restaurants in the wind down and liquidation of both restaurants. Representation also included representing the formation and structuring of internationally acclaimed restaurant group, and its opening of several highly acclaimed restaurants in New York City and subsequent ventures.
  • Represented a Times Square boutique hotel in joint venture and development related matters.
  • Represented an online exclusive restaurant supply and classified site in all corporate matters.
  • Representation of an international developer in joint venture negotiations with multiple restaurants, including Michelin starred, for iconic mixed-use properties located in midtown Manhattan and West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Representation of a Florida-based, national ice cream franchise, in lease negotiations and ongoing landlord/tenant matters, for all corporate and franchisee locations throughout the United States.
  • Representation of a New York hotel developer in joint venture negotiations with Michelin starred restaurant operators for exclusive food and beverage service for two distinct, newly developed midtown Manhattan boutique hotels.

Employment Law

  • Represented New York city restaurant owner in employment negotiations with two celebrity chefs.
  • Represented New York city restaurant and owner in defense of claims brought in federal court by several restaurant employees alleging violation of under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law and seeking unpaid minimum wage, unpaid spread of hours pay, unpaid overtime and damages for failure to provide wage statements; negotiated favorable settlement that was approved by the court.

 Acquisition, Sales and Finance

  • Represented an investor in a debt investment in a franchise beer and cafe chain.
  • Represented a cider house in governance matters, an equity private placement and strategic foreign investment.
  • Represented a restaurant with locations in New York City, NY and Boston, MA with respect to the acquisition and financing of several restaurant locations.
  • Represented a restaurant group with respect to the acquisition and financing of several restaurant locations.
  • Represented a sovereign wealthfund in sale of limited service hotel to regional owner/operator of limited service hotels with Marriott flags.
  • Executed several loans secured by full and limited-service hotels in New York, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Louisiana and Virginia.
  • Represented an online exclusive restaurant supply and classified site in a convertible debt offering.

Real Estate

  • Represented a foreign quick serve restaurant franchise in leasing and general real estate matters in connection the expansion of its operations to the US.
  • Representation of owner of several New Jersey restaurants with respect to acquisition and leasing.
  • Representation of a Moscow based restaurant syndicate in lease negotiations for a midtown Manhattan location, its first restaurant in the United States.
  • Representation of an international developer lease negotiations and in ongoing landlord/tenant matters with multiple restaurants, including Michelin starred, for iconic mixed-use properties located in midtown Manhattan and West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Representation of a velvet rope, bottle service night club operator in lease negotiations for locations throughout the United States.
  • Representation of a Florida-based developer in lease negotiations with several restaurant and entertainment tenants for a ground up mixed-use development near Miami, Florida.

Intellectual Property

  • Assist in obtaining and maintaining live and recorded music licenses with performance-rights organizations such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.
  • Representation of restauranteur with respect to IP matters concerning numerous bar and pub locations.
  • Representation of comedy club with respect to IP issues.

Construction Law

  • Representation of several restaurant owners in construction contract negotiations for locations throughout the United States.
  • Representation of a food service franchise in construction contract negotiations for locations throughout the United States

Coffeemania, a well-known restaurant group in Moscow, opened its first location in Manhattan in December 2016. Providing a casual approach to Contemporary American cuisine, Coffeemania serves up seasonal fare that blends classic French techniques with hints of Asian influence.

David Rubenstein represented Coffeemania in the negotiation of a lease for the 5,000 square foot space and assisted the company in navigating through the complexities involved in opening a restaurant in New York City. The raw space at 1065 Sixth Avenue has been transformed into a warm, convivial atmosphere featuring dining space for 105 guests.

The space features an open kitchen which is home to a passionate culinary team led by Executive Chef Titus Wang. Chef Titus and his team will offer a variety of refined menu items that showcase creative new American food in a tasteful and captivating manner. The menu will rotate seasonally, with certain signature dishes remaining as mainstays.

The restaurant’s diverse culinary fare is complemented by an imaginative beverage program that includes artisanal cocktails, as well as an array of non-alcoholic beverages including fresh fruit and vegetable blends, tonics and spritzers, warm herbal infusions, teas and of course, coffee. Coffeemania’s award-winning barista team is skilled in alternative brewing methods and roasts its own coffee beans in house.

March 2017 Newsletter

Cole Schotz News March 2017

Structuring a Restaurant Group for Success

FSR Magazine February 17, 2016

A Protective Structure

Restaurant Startup & Growth January 2016

NYC Health Department Regulates Sushi Preparation

Corporate Law Monitor August 17, 2015

Don't Get Burned in Your Kitchen

FSR Magazine January 26, 2015

Structuring a Restaurant Group for Success

FSR Magazine February 17, 2016

A Protective Structure

Restaurant Startup & Growth January 2016

NYC Health Department Regulates Sushi Preparation

Corporate Law Monitor August 17, 2015

Don't Get Burned in Your Kitchen

FSR Magazine January 26, 2015

 

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