Phillip Franklin Lee is (sorta) striking back at his business partner Daryoush Danesh for choosing to re-open Scratch Bar in Beverly Hills even though, y’know, it’s Lee’s concept AND he already is in talks to relocate the eatery to a new spot in the Valley. It’s creating quite the confusing mess for customers, to say the least, which has led the chef to offer his own rebuttals online.
The seriously weird story has been unfolding ever since Scratch Bar decided to suddenly close overnight a couple of weeks back. At the time Lee, who also owns The Gadarene Swine (where Danesh’s name can also be found on the ABC license) , said that leasing issues were to blame for the shutter, and that the entire staff would be back in action in no time in a neighborhood more amenable to the type of food Scratch Bar serves.
Unbeknownst to Lee, apparently, the Scratch Bar shutter was short-lived, as a new website and social media profile cropped up for what should have been a closed restaurant. A call to the restaurant confirmed it was still open, with staff only saying that Danesh was now cooking and that there was never a permanent closure, only a temporary one.
In a Yelp reply to a customer who left a two-star review, Lee noted the official closure of Scratch Bar, but didn’t really directly address the Danesh re-opening situation. Instead, he offered a free meal at The Gadarene Swine for the unhappy customer. On Facebook though, Lee has been more vocal, linking to the Yelp reply with the following addendum:
When you close your restaurant to relocate it and someone re-opens it without your consent, you definitely will have some explaining to do to angry Yelpers…
Most everyone (online at least) is coming down on Lee's side, while Danesh hasn’t been willing to go on record with Eater — or return calls seeking any level of clarification. As for the pair's current level of interaction — as business partners or otherwise — that also remains unclear.