No stranger to lawsuits, shouty chef Gordon Ramsay is now in hot water with business partner Rowen Seibel who is suing Ramsay for 10 million, claiming that "Ramsay deliberately mishandled a trademark problem for their LA eatery The Fat Cow," reports NY Daily News. Remember, Ramsay had intended on flipping The Fat Cow into another restaurant post March shutter.
While The Fat Cow, Gordo's gastropub at The Grove open for about a year and a half, received criticism for its pedestrian bill of fare, a trademark infringement filed by an Argentinian steak house in Miami, Las Vacas Gordas (Spanish for the fat cow), is what took the restaurant down.
Back in February, a Ramsay rep told Sunday Mail that The Fat Cow was closing "due to the fact that we no longer have rights to the name" and that "[t]his issue was something we became aware of after we opened..." However, Seibel, who also owns the Serendipity chain of dessery restaurants and three other Vegas eateries with Ramsay, told the Manhattan Supreme Court that Ramsay knew about the name trademark from the get-go. Instead of changing The Fat Cow's name and keeping the place open, Ramsay used the trademark problem as an excuse to shutter. Seibel alleges that "Ramsay formed a new company with new partners and then secretly negotiated a deal with his Los Angeles landlord to allow a new restaurant, GR Roast, to operate in The Fat Cow's space." Seibel is not a partner in GR Roast, which supposedly will appear on Ramsay's FOX show Hell's Kitchen.
In the past, Ramsay has been sued by Fat Cow employees who claim to have been paid less than minimum wage or not at all.
· Gordon Ramsay sued by business partner for $10 million over closed Los Angeles restaurant The Fat Cow [NY Daily News]
· Gordo Keeping Fat Cow Space; CiBOTECA Update [~ELA~]
· Gordon Ramsay's The Fat Cow Serves its Last March 27 [~ELA~]
Update: Gordon Ramsay's camp fires back with the following: "We're surprised that Mr. Seibel has the audacity to file this ridiculous suit when he and his team were responsible for the day to day running of The Fat Cow and spectacularly mismanaged it resulting in a string of financial and legal issues. Gordon Ramsay and his team immediately stepped in and tried to resolve these issues, but Seibel refused to engage in any meaningful conversations, rendering the restaurant unsustainable. Throughout, Ramsay was very forthcoming with Seibel that any future plan for another restaurant partnership in Los Angeles was impossible due to Seibel's refusal to operate and fund the restaurant properly, sadly including Seibel diverting funds from the business."