Restaurants within a store, from the French bistro Le Train Bleu that sat atop Bloomingdales for 37 years, to the reservation-required Polo Bar on East 55th Street, to Swedish meatballs served at IKEA, are not necessarily a new trend. But, as more and more shopping destinations are closing their doors, it’s become crucial for retailers to offer shoppers another reason to visit their brick-and-mortar store. In good company with other luxury retailers such as Gucci with its in-house Osteria da Massimo Bottura, or Armani with its own Armani Ristorante, Louis Vuitton’s newest Maison, Osaka Midosuji, recently opened in Japan with their own two restaurants, the first to come from the French fashion house.
In the four-story Maison, designed by architect Peter Marino, the top floor has both of the brand’s restaurants: Le Café V and Sugalabo V. The café, with its airy terrace and cocktail bar, neighbors the secret Sugalabo V, accessed through a hidden entrance and only open to a select few diners every night.
The two eateries are run by acclaimed chef Yosuke Suga, of the popular Tokyo restaurant, Sugalabo. While we at DuJour would love to hop on a plane for a taste-test seated by Sugalabo V’s open kitchen, we’ll have to make do doing what we often do with Louis Vuitton runway collections: admire from afar.