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131 layoffs as Locale Market, Farm Table Cucina close at Sundial

In a notice to the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said the layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January.
A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. [CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES]
A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. [CHRIS URSO | TIMES]
Published Nov. 15
Updated Nov. 16

ST. PETERSBURG — The transformation of part of the Sundial into a food hall will mean the loss of 131 jobs as the Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the beginning of the year.

In a notice filed with the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January. As of Friday, he said about 25 to 30 employees already had found new jobs and left.

In all, the cuts are expected to include 38 cooks and chefs, 16 dishwashers, 12 runners, bussers and barbacks, nine servers and nine managers.

The layoffs are taking place as a result of both businesses closing to make way for the food hall.

Earlier this month, BE-1 Concepts, the restaurant company behind the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa, announced it plans to bring a similar food- and beverage-focused hall to 25,000 square feet at the Sundial by the end of next year.

RELATED: New food hall at Sundial will replace Locale Market and stores

“We are still early in the design and development phase of this project and are still working through many details," BE-1 Concepts president Frank Scalfaro said in a statement Friday. “However, we are very excited to bring a unique experience to St. Petersburg, and we look forward to hiring over 200 employees to help us create something this community can be proud of.”

Edwards said he’s getting ready to announce another company coming to the Sundial soon. Between that and BE-1 Concepts, he said the ultimate demand for restaurant employees at the Sundial could double.

So he hopes at least some employees being displaced will find jobs with the new businesses at Sundial or in the meantime at other BE-1 restaurants, which include Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa and Sea Critters Café at Pass-a-Grille in St. Pete Beach.

“Obviously, they’re going to need similar people,” Edwards said. “We’ve got really qualified, experienced people, so why wouldn’t anybody want to hire them?”

Contact Richard Danielson at rdanielson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times

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