The relationship between former best bros and business partners Matt Levine and Michael Shah is quickly going from bad to worse. First came this week's announcement about the closing of Cocktail Bodega, which Levine blamed on building issues but everyone else blamed on performance. That was quickly followed by Shah sending out his own announcement that Levine had been fired from Sons of Essex and every other project that he and Shah had been working on together, a claim that Levine disputes. Today comes word that Levine showed up at Sons of Essex earlier this week and made a scene at the restaurant, forcing employees to call the cops to settle the situation, although Levine is denying it.
The ex best buds have agreed to try and work things out (yay!), but the major sticking point is a first look clause in Levine's contract with Shah for all of his projects, which now includes the Rowhouse Inn in the MePa , Pop Burger and a new project at the old Niko space on Mercer Street. But after the bomb that was Cocktail Bodega and the fading Sons of Essex, you could see why Shah would be looking to expand his partnerships beyond Matt Levine. The world waits on the edge of its collective seat to see how this turns out. Steelo!
· Essex Dispute's Boiling Point [NYP]
· Matt Levine Coverage [~ENY~]