Responding to yesterday's news that his former landlord, Joanne Lucas, would be turning Florent back to the R&L Restaurant and reopening on Tuesday, Florent Morellet tells us he's happy with the idea, which he first heard about a few weeks ago. It's not a conspiracy, she's not just trying to rake in the dough while she waits for a retail buyer. Florent contends that the decision was an emotional one:
"I'm not totally surprised. There's something very special about this neighborhood in the Meatpacking District...the property has been in the family with Joanne for three generations and they have an emotional relationship with the building. I was curious to see what would happen when push came to shove with Joanne when the big bucks came to the door. It would have meant tearing down the inside...This was not a decision based on capitalism."Florent, who says he has already come to terms with closing the restaurant, urges his fans to give Lucas, his former opponent in court, a chance:
"I think it's wonderful. This is the second best option. It's going to be a mom and pop store. I'm telling everybody, 'Go and try them out'. I wish well anybody working with her."As for the menu, Florent says it's not trademarked and she can serve whatever she likes. If she wanted to use his name however, she would need to talk to his lawyers. "There's not going to be maps on the wall and I'm not going to be in it but we'll see. I really wish them well."
· BLOCKBUSTER Exclusive: Florent to Re-Open as R & L Restaurant on Tuesday!! [~E~]
· All Florent Coverage [~E~]