Why Marc Vetri Is Exiting His Role at Urban Outfitters
Two years after URBN bought the majority of Marc Vetri’s restaurant empire, the celebrated chef announced on Sunday in an Instagram post that he’s stepping away from his role with the Philadelphia-based global retail company.
“After two years with URBN I feel we have given them all the tools they need to succeed and grow this company to its fullest potential. It’s a bittersweet day for me but I feel that it’s time to step down and leave them the room they need to grow,” the post reads, under a team photo at Alla Spina.
The Italian gastropub in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood is among the chef’s restaurants acquired by URBN, along with Pizzeria Vetri, Osteria, Amis and Bar Amis, formerly Lo Spiedo. In the unprecedented deal between the retail chain (with brands that include Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie) and the once-local restaurant group, Vetri retained his eponymous fine dining spot located on Spruce Street in Center City, as well as Vetri Community Partnership, his non-profit aimed at healthy food education for children.
A spokesperson for company confirmed the departure, noting in a statement, “URBN thanks Marc for his leadership and contributions during our partnership and we wish him continued success as he embarks on his future endeavors.”
Vetri Family Restaurants will continue to operate with Jeff Michaud and Brad Spence, executive chefs of Osteria and Amis, respectively, while the brand continues to expand nationally. Both Pizzeria Vetri and Amis have locations in Washington, D.C., while the latter is also open in Westport, Connecticut. (Michaud is also the culinary director of URBN’s Terrain Cafe with locations in Palo Alto, Westport, and Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.)
Vetri’s business partner, Jeff Benjamin, announced his exit from URBN in August, and has since been working with chef Kevin Sbraga on the city’s forthcoming Fitler Club, a private social club set to open in 2019. Meanwhile, the chef will continue to work on his charitable organization, as well as at Vetri Cucina, which marks its 20th anniversary in 2018. To celebrate, the restaurant has kicked off a yearlong dinner series with chefs from around the world, including Massimo Bottura of Modena, Italy’s beloved Osteria Francescana. Plans are also in the works for a project at The Palms in Las Vegas, which is slated to open in 2018 alongside restaurants from Michael Symon and Bobby Flay.
By Sunday evening, Vetri had moved onto more pressing topics on social media (for Philadelphia Eagles fans.) “Ok ok, enough of this stepping down shit...let’s go birds!!!” he wrote on Twitter.