BEMC LLC will lay off 131 restaurant workers at Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina in The Mall at Sundial.
The layoffs are expected to begin Jan. 5, but could happen earlier depending on changing business conditions, William Edwards, manager of BEMC LLC, wrote in a Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
BEMC LLC, one of several companies controlled by Sundial developer Bill Edwards, operates both Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina.
The layoffs follow the Nov. 1 announcement that developers of Armature Works in Tampa will open a 25,000-square-foot food hall in Sundial in the spots currently occupied by the two eateries.
At least some of the workers may still have jobs at the new food hall.
“It is our understanding that the new owner intends to offer continued employment to some, or perhaps many, of the affected employees,” Edwards wrote. “BEMC is therefore hopeful that few, if any, employees will suffer an employment loss. However, BEMC cannot predict or guarantee what will happen after closing its businesses, and therefore cannot be certain that the new business will open, or that employees will be retained.”
Cooks and chefs will be most impacted by the layoffs. Of the 131 workers impacted, 38 of them are cooks or chefs, the WARN notice said.
Chas Bruck, co-owner of Armature Works and BE1 Concepts, has said he is looking to reimagine Sundial, where he will have more than 25,000 square feet.
Edwards called the deal with Bruck’s companies “a tremendous opportunity for downtown St. Petersburg.”
“For anyone who hasn’t been to Armature Works (in Tampa), it’s one of the most unique experiences you’ll have,” Edwards said in a statement to the St. Pete Catalyst last week. “They (Armature Works/BE1 Concepts) saw the benefit of downtown St. Pete and we saw their benefit.”
He also said there is “more good news” on the way for the shopping center.