Four Seasons owners Julian Niccolilni and Alex Von Bidder in front of the Picasso curtain Tricorne.
Four Seasons owners Julian Niccolilni and Alex Von Bidder in front of the Picasso curtain Tricorne.

The Four Seasons restaurant brand is for sale

Offers for the storied New York City concept's intellectual property are due Feb. 25

The fine-dining restaurant brand The Four Seasons is officially for sale.

Hilco Steambank on Thursday announced it is marketing the Four Seasons brand and related intellectual property. Offers are due on Feb. 25, and assets include the Four Seasons trademark, a trademark for Spa Cuisine prepared food and various social media assets, along with the iconic four-tree logo.

The restaurant that first opened in 1959 in New York City's Seagram building has a rich history. For five decades, it was the power lunch spot for the elite. The brainchild of legendary restaurateur Joe Baum, it pioneered the notion of serving local, seasonal cuisine, introducing ingredients like cherry tomatoes, snow peas and baby avocados.  It is among “Ten Restaurants That Changed America,” a 2016 book by Yale University historian Paul Freedman.

But The Four Seasons closed in the Seagram building in 2016 after 57 years. An investor group later reopened the concept in another spot three blocks away — only to close for good in 2019 after less than a year in operation following a negative review from The New York Times.

There were also allegations of misconduct among partners at the time and reports indicated co-owner Julian Niccolini was forced to resign.

The Four Seasons managing partner Alex von Bidder at the time told The New York Times, “We just couldn’t make it. The restaurant world had changed. We were not doing enough business to satisfy [the investors].”

Gabe Fried, Hilco Steambank’s CEO, in a statement argued the restaurant brand still has potential.

“Rarely does a restaurant brand evoking such sophistication and elegance as the Four Seasons restaurant come to market,” he said.  “Those who know New York City, know the rich heritage of the Four Seasons restaurant brand and its impact on the culinary landscape in New York City and beyond. There are endless opportunities for a buyer to build upon the success of this iconic restaurant brand, including reopening restaurants in New York and in major markets throughout the United States.”

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@informa.com

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

TAGS: Management
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