Amid growing protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, Lanfranco Pescante stepped down yesterday as co-owner of Nocturnal Hospitality Group after violent and racist comments surfaced.
Now it appears the Nocturnal, which operates popular Tampa restaurants including Osteria, Franklin Manor, Shibui and Mole y Abuela, has also lost its celebrity chef.
Fabio Viviani, who helped create Osteria and won “fan favorite” on 2008’s "Top Chef," says he has severed all ties with Nocturnal.
In a statement posted to Osteria’s Instagram, Fabio Viviani Hospitality says they are no longer employing management services from Nocturnal Hospitality Group.
“Effective immediately, Nocturnal Group and its members have been removed as the management company for all Fabio Viviani Hospitality venues in Tampa. Also effective immediately FVH will be working with all the investors and managers to take care of all day-to-day operations.”
Viviani was also in the process of opening another Italian restaurant with Nocturnal in St. Petersburg, called La Pergola.
Jennifer Cornet, Managing Director at Bread & Butter PR, which contacted Creative Loafing Tampa Bay on behalf of the Fabio Vivani Hospitality Group, confirmed that Nocturnal is no longer in any way connected to FVH.
"FVH is a stakeholder in Osteria Bar + Kitchen, Mole y Abuela and Shibui. Nocturnal Hospitality Group was the local management company with whom FVH engaged last year to run the day to day operations," said Cornet. "FVH, its investors, partners, and all Tampa venues have completely cut all ties and are no longer involved with Nocturnal Hospitality Group. Nocturnal Hospitality Group no longer manages, or is associated with, any of the FVH venues in Tampa or anywhere else in the country. FVH has no ties and has never had any ties whatsoever with Franklin Manor."
Cornet did not have any details on a buyout for Nocturnal.
The announcement comes after hundreds of protesters gathered outside of Franklin Manor on Tuesday night.
UPDATED: 06/03/20 4:04 p.m. This post has been updated with comments from Vivani's PR firm.
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