item 6 - Alan Reyburn interview, 1987 January 16

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US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.3.6

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Alan Reyburn interview, 1987 January 16

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  • 1987 January 16 (Creation)

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MPEG file: 30.6 MiB; 22 minutes, 20 seconds; Original Media Format: Cassette.

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In this interview, Alan Reyburn talks about restuaranteuring in the context of the retail world. Reyburn ran all food operations at Bloomingdale's during the 1980s, including staff restuarants. After briefly describing his past hospitality job working for a cruise line, Reyburn explains that New York City is a restaurant city and the Bloomingdale's client is someone who considers food and dining to be part of the fashionable lifestyle. Reyburn attributes Bloomingdale's Marvin S. Traub for having the total vision that included food operations as part of the Department Store's success. Most notable among Reyburn's projects while at Bloomingdale's was Le Train Bleu, a rooftop restuarant designed to look like the luxury train used by travelers going between Paris and the Mediterranean. Reyburn shares a number of anecdotes about the inception, operation, and overall concept of Le Train Bleu. As Bloomingdale's was one of the few department stores to have its own restuarant at the time, Reyburn explains the challenges specific to running a restaurant within a retail environment. In regards to service, Reyburn believed that good service in the restaurant was even more important to the Bloomingdale's client than good service on the sales floor. Having traveled with Traub for business, Reyburn describes the Bloomingdale's CEO as being indefatigable, an adventurous eater, and keenly aware of his surroundings. He also describes Traub as having more vision than most retailers, seeing a broader picture and having a shorter temper.

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Audio is rather quiet, a lot of "air noise" requiring high colume to be audible

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Archivist's note

This was originally part of a larger recording that includes the Dennis Garro interview.

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