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Centerplate takes over food service at National WWII Museum

NEW ORLEANS - A global hospitality company will take over food service at the National WWII Museum in August, replacing chef John Besh's Restaurant Group.

Museum officials said Thursday that Centerplate will be responsible for food and beverage services at visitor restaurants, public and private events and the Stage Door Canteen, the museum's popular entertainment venue.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to serve at The National WWII Museum, in one of the most renowned culinary cities in the world," said Des Hague, President and CEO of Centerplate. "Centerplate is honoured to welcome guests to this important national landmark and to contribute to the Museum's exciting momentum and future growth."

Centerplate will assume responsibility of the museum's food and beverage service from the Besh Restaurant Group in August. The company serves more than 115 million guests each year in more than 300 entertainment, sports and convention venues, including New Orleans' convention centre and Superdome.

Rebecca Mackie, chief financial officer for the museum, said Besh's group has managed food and beverage service at the museum since 2009. "They've been a part of numerous special events here at the Museum, including grand openings, patriotic celebrations and other special occasions," she said.

But the museum decided not to renew its contract with Besh.

Besh spokeswoman Emery Whalen said the restaurant group remains passionate about the museum's mission but welcomed the change. "This change will allow us to focus on new expansion plans for our organization that are currently in development," she said.

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