isabellaeateryssettlement.png Greg Powers

Mike Isabella Concepts files for Chapter 11

Restaurateur blames negative press related to sexual harassment allegations

Washington, D.C., area chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for nine of his 11 restaurants, his general counsel Brian Bregman confirmed Thursday.

The nine concepts included in the filing are Arroz, G by Mike Isabella, Kapnos and Graffiato in D.C.; as well as the Grafiatto in Richmond, Va.; Isabella Eatery in Fairfax, Va.; and Kapnos Taverna, Pepita and Yona, all in Arlington, Va.

Two of Isabella’s restaurants — Kapnos Kouzina in Bethesda, Md., and Requin at the Wharf in Washington, D.C. — are not included in the financial reorganization as they continued to function as successful businesses.

In a report in the Washington Post, Isabella blamed the bankruptcy on slower sales as a result of negative press he received this past spring as his company, Mike Isabella Concepts, was sued by former employee Chloe Caras, who sought damages for “sex-based hostility and abuse.”

Isabella and his partners vigorously denied the claims, which were made in March, but in May they agreed on a confidential settlement.

Isabella told the Post that his largest creditors were Eagle Bank and restaurant suppliers including Julius Silvert and TriMark Adams-Burch, as well as Eskridge (E&A), which sued Isabella in May for unpaid rent at Requin Brasserie, which closed in April.

Court document related to the bankruptcy filing were not immediately available.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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