In a new twist, Le Pain Quotidien will open 10 new locations in New York City.
The new stores will open in stores that previously operated as Maison Kayser locations. Both brands filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic and were subsequently acquired by Aurify Brands.
“We are big believers in New York City and are thrilled to add these strong locations in this key market to our LPQ portfolio,” John Rigos, Co-CEO of Aurify Brands, said in a statement.
The chain was struggling before the pandemic: LPQ reported a $17 million loss on $153 million in sales in the U.S. last year. But after the pandemic hit, it closed all of its locations and laid off thousands of staffers; its bankruptcy filing revealed that permanent store closures were planned before the pandemic. Aurify acquired it for just $3 million in June.
LPQ was freed from 59 of its leases after the acquisition, and Aurify previously planned to reopen just 35 of the Belgian brand’s 94 U.S. stores.
But since adding LPQ to its roster of brands (which includes Melt Shop and the Little Beet) in June, Aurify has reopened or slated for reopening 50 of the chain’s restaurants in New York, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Florida.
All Masion Kayser locations shuttered primarily due to the pandemic and have remained closed since. It declared bankruptcy in September, and Aurify later acquired the brand for $3 million.
Aurify projects 1,200 or more jobs to be created across the Le Pain Quotidien portfolio once operations return to pre-pandemic capacity.