After a rocky few years involving a multimillion-dollar family lawsuit and a bankruptcy, storied steakhouse chain the Palm is no longer in the hands of the family who launched it in New York City 93 years ago. Massive Houston-based Landry’s — billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s company behind restaurants ranging from Morton’s the Steakhouse to Rainforest Cafe — has purchased the Palm in a $45 million deal, according to a spokesperson.
The Ganzi and Bozzi families started looking into selling the caricature-filled steakhouse in December. The company had filed for bankruptcy in March, following a lawsuit between family members that resulted in an $120 million payout to one side.
By the end of February, Landry’s was the only bidder remaining in an auction to acquire the Palm, which has more than 20 locations from Miami and Nashville to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. There are still NYC locations in Midtown and Tribeca, as well as at JFK airport. As part of the deal, Landry’s also got Huntting Inn, a historic East Hampton hotel. The Palm Too, which had been open for nearly 47 years in Midtown East, closed just this week.
Founders Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi opened the Palm in Midtown in 1926, and over the years, the restaurant became known for consistent food, warm service, and walls filled with caricatures of both famous clientele and regulars. In the 1970s, Bozzi and Ganzi’s grandchildren expanded the brand expanded nationally.
But the original location closed in 2015, and the ownership of the brand split, with Ganzi’s grandchildren Garry Ganzi and sister Claire Breen as part owners of the original Palm and their cousin Walter Ganzi Jr. and former partner Bruce Bozzi Sr. overseeing the expansion. There was disagreement over how profits were being shared, and in 2017, the family became embroiled in a lawsuit. A judge eventually ruled in Ganzi and Breen’s favor, asking that the chain pay them $120 million.
Landry’s is based in Houston and has a global restaurant footprint. It owns restaurants such as Del Frisco’s Grille and Morton’s the Steakhouse, plus well-known casual spots like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. In New York, it runs BR Guest Restaurants Dos Caminos and Bill’s Bar & Burger.
Despite the sale, Ganzi Jr. and Bozzi Sr. will still be involved as “ambassadors for the brand,” according to a statement from Landry’s. “Bruce and Wally will forever be a part of the Palm family,” the statement says.