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Serving Museum Patrons Something More

Thursday, December 12, 2013   (0 Comments)

New York Times (10/27/13) Collins, Glenn

Saul restaurant founder and chef Saul Bolton relocated his establishment to the Brooklyn Museum's former gift shop, as part of a trend of museums and other culture centers enticing high-end restauranteurs and chefs in order to differentiate themselves from competing venues and attract more patrons. "People who have come to appreciate well-sourced and well-cooked food refuse to pay too much for food that they wouldn't want to pay anything for," says global restauranteur Danny Meyer. Museum of Modern Art director Glenn D. Lowry agrees, and observes that "there is an increasingly sophisticated food culture everywhere, and people who go to museums are certainly part of that culture." Saul's at the Brooklyn Museum follows an atypical model, since the old restaurant was shuttered and the entire kitchen staff transferred to the new location. Restaurant consultant Clark Wolf reports that museums are under constant culinary pressure from refined audiences. "The truth is that if museums don't meet the needs of their visitors, they'll be surrounded by food trucks in a minute," he says. There also is peer pressure for museum directors and their trustees to contend with, Wolf notes. Brooklyn Museum director Arnold L. Lehman thinks Saul's will help boost visitor and donor traffic, "and help people to feel more involved with the museum."


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