Lebanon Businessnews News

Cavalli Caffé opens in Beirut
Pragma Group brand franchisee in MENA
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Cavalli Caffé, the high-end diner concept by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, will officially open its first local branch on Friday, January 4. The outlet is located in Beirut Central District’s Karagulla building, within close range to designer shops and the business district.

The 250 square meter venue will serve brunch, lunch, and dinner, and could seat up to 80 guests at a onetime. The outdoor terrace could accommodate up to 40 additional guests.

Beirut-based Pragma Group Holding is the brand’s franchisee in the MENA region. Pragma Group operates the Cavalli Club at the Fairmont hotel in Dubai since 2009, through a license agreement with the Italian fashion designer.

“Cavalli Caffé is a $3 million investment,” said Michel Rouphael, financial controller at Pragma Group. He said that the company is planning to open 14 other Cavalli Caffés in the coming years, in cities such as Istanbul, Qatar, and Kuwait, each with an investment similar to that of the Lebanese branch.

Pragma Group plans to invest up to $150 million to develop the chain in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and South America, through fifty-fifty joint ventures with local partners in each market.

A Cavalli Club, similar to Dubai’s is planned for Beirut. “The concept is still under study but the club will most likely be located within Beirut,” Rouphael said. He said Lebanon is a flexible market despite the local situation and surrounding instabilities. Pragma Group, owned and chaired by Joe Tabet, is the franchisee for other gourmet concepts such as Lina’s and Le Talleyrand.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Jan 02, 2013
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