Cipriani S.A.

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Cipriani S.A. is an Italian hotel and leisure company domiciled in Luxembourg that owns and operates luxury restaurants and clubs around the world including Harry's Bar in Venice and formerly the Rainbow Room in New York City. It specialises in simple, traditional Italian food.

Cipriani S.A. traces its history to family patriarch Giuseppe Cipriani, (1900–1980)[1] who founded Harry's Bar in Venice in 1931. According to the company history, Harry Pickering, a young Bostonian, had been frequenting Hotel Europa in Venice, where Giuseppe Cipriani was a bartender. When Pickering explained that he was broke because his family had found out his drinking habits and cut him off financially, Cipriani loaned Pickering 10,000 lire (about $500 US [$7,839 in 2015 dollars]). Two years later, Pickering returned to the hotel bar, ordered a drink, and gave Cipriani 50,000 lire in return. "Mr. Cipriani, thank you," he said, according to the Cipriani website. "Here's the money. And to show you my appreciation, here's 40,000 more, enough to open a bar. We will call it Harry's Bar."

Harry's Bar became a popular spot for celebrities like Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart. Mr. Cipriani created the Bellini cocktail there, and the food dish Carpaccio is also reputed to have originated there.

Giuseppe's son Arrigo Cipriani (born 1932) is the majority owner. Arrigo is Italian for Harry.[1] His son Giuseppe Cipriani (born 1965) is the main business manager.


In 1958, the elder Cipriani built the Hotel Cipriani in Venice. In 1967, Cipriani Sr. sold rights to the Cipriani name trademark.[2]

The family went international in 1985 under the Cipriani name when it opened Harry Cipriani in New York City in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel.[3] Within two years the family was evicted from the hotel and opened the Cipriani Bellini bar nearby.[1] Eventually they would return to the hotel.

Entrance of 110 East 42nd Street
110 East 42nd Street

In 1997, the Ciprianis bought 55 Wall Street, noted for its huge ornate former First National Bank lobby. They sold it in 1999 and bought the Bowery Savings Bank's 110 East 42nd Street building across from Grand Central, again noted for its huge ornate lobby.[4] 55 Wall Street Cipriani's, Grand Central Cipriani's and Cipriani Tribeca were designed by Anthony Morali of Morali Architects.[5]

In 1998, they leased the Rainbow Room, performed minor modification / major gutting of the 87' Rockefeller Restoration and fired the members of Local 6 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union which picketed it. The labor dispute was settled in 1999, resulting in a recall of the displaced Local 6 employees for 10 years until 2009, when Cipriani was evicted by the owner / operator Tishman Speyer.

In 2005, the company won the rights from the Hudson River Park board to develop Pier 57 into Leonardo's, a luxury complex that included a museum, catering hall, shops, restaurants, a rooftop pool and a public park.[6] Their principal competition was the Chelsea Piers, just north of Pier 57.[7] After winning the bid, Michael DiLeonardo, an associate of Peter Gotti, turned state's evidence against the accused mobster. In his testimony, DiLeonardo said that the Ciprianis had paid $120,000 to the Gambino crime family to make union problems at the Rainbow Room disappear.[8] The charges were never confirmed. However, the Ciprianis were unsuccessful in firing the union workers. The Ciprianis relinquished their rights to develop the pier after co-investors in the project withdrew.[3][9]

In April 2004, Cipriani opened in London. The site on Davies Street in Mayfair was co-founded and established by Fabrizio Cerina of the Swiss banking group Credit des Alpes, who also acted as strategic advisor to Cipriani in the sale and leaseback of the Saxony Hotel, Miami in 2009, one of the biggest ever property deals in Miami.[10]

In 2006, in partnership with attorney Steve Witkoff, Cipriani bought 55 Wall Street again.[4]

Arrigo and Giuseppe pleaded guilty in 2007 to misdemeanor tax evasion for defrauding $3.5 million in state and city taxes for six years beginning in 1998. They were placed on probation through 2011 and an independent auditor was assigned to monitor future payments.[3]

In December 2008, the High Court of England and Wales ruled that Orient-Express Hotels (which owns the Hotel Cipriani) owns the Cipriani trademark and that the use of "Cipriani" in the name of the London restaurant infringed its trademark rights.[2][11] The decision was upheld on appeal by the Court of Appeal on 24 February 2010, which ordered that the restaurant's name would have to be changed by 24 April 2010.[12] The new name of the restaurant is "C".[13]

In January 2009, the Ciprianis announced plans to close the Rainbow Room in a dispute with the owner of 30 Rock, Tishman Speyer Properties. Tishman in turn responded that it was evicting the Ciprianis from the Rainbow Room.[14]

Casa Cipriani opened in the Battery Maritime Building in September 2021 and in that same month, the company announced a new restaurant within Grand Central Terminal.[15][16]


New York City
Los Angeles
  • Cipriani Beverly Hills (planned in 2010 in the former Tower Beverly Hills Hotel).[26]
  • Cipriani's Downtown & Bellini Lounge Club
  • Booom! IBIZA
Porto Cervo
  • Cipriani Porto Cervo.[27]
Hong Kong
  • Cipriani Hong Kong.[28]
Miami Beach
  • Cipriani Mexico City
  • Cipriani Monaco
  • Cipriani Saint-Tropez


  1. ^ a b c "Behind the Coup at Cipriani" (Google Books). New York. 19 October 1987.
  2. ^ a b "Hit London restaurant told to drop Cipriani name". Reuters. 10 December 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Father and Son Restaurateurs in New York City Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion". The New York Times. 1 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Mr. Cipriani Takes His Name to Wall Street Condominiums". The New York Times. 26 February 2006.
  5. ^ "Morali Architects". Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  6. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (7 April 2005). "Cipriani Wins Bid for Italian Makeover of a West Side Pier". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  7. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (5 February 2005). "On the Waterfront, Dueling Developers; Two Visions and the Challenge of Making a Choice". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  8. ^ Gray, Geoffrey (13 December 2009). "Bellini Troubles". New York. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  9. ^ Anderson, Lincoln (10 May 2006). "Cipriani says arrivederci to Pier 57 Leonardo plan". The Villager. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Florida hotel added to Cipriani empire". The Independent (5 February 2008). Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  11. ^ Hotel Cipriani SRL & Others v Cipriani (Grosvenor Street) Ltd & Others [2008] EWHC 3032 (Ch), [2009] Bus LR D81, [2009] RPC 9 (9 December 2008)
  12. ^ Hotel Cipriani SRL & Others v Cipriani (Grosvenor Street) Ltd & Others [2010] EWCA Civ 110, [2010] RPC 16 (24 February 2010), Court of Appeal
  13. ^ a b "C London". Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  14. ^ "Rainbow Room's Lease Terminated". The New York Times. 9 January 2009.
  15. ^ Adams, Erika (21 September 2021). "Grand Central Terminal Lands New Steakhouse From Glitzy Italian Group Cipriani". Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  16. ^ a b Maida, Stephanie (7 September 2021). "Inside Casa Cipriani, NYC's Most Exclusive New Hotel & Members' Club". Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Harry's Bar". Archived from the original on 2 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Harry's Dolci". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  19. ^ "Harry Cipriani Bar". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  20. ^ "Club 55". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  21. ^ "55 Wall Street". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  22. ^ "Cipriani Wall Street".
  23. ^ "Cipriani 42nd Street". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  24. ^ "Cipriano Dolci". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  25. ^ "NYC Landmarks Re-Opening as Event Spaces". sequence. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Cipriani Beverly Hills". Archived from the original on 24 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  27. ^ "Cipriani Porto Cervo". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  28. ^ "Cipriani Hong Kong". Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  29. ^ "Cipriani Miami" (dead link?).
  30. ^ Vendieron Hotel San Rafael en US$ 30 millones. 6 de octubre de 2011 El País

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