As Roberta's continues to grow from hip Brooklyn destination to true restaurant powerhouse, there's trouble behind the scenes. The three owners – Brandon Hoy, chef Carlo Mirarchi, and Chris Parachini – are in the midst of a nasty split, with Mirarchi and Hoy suing to keep Parachini out of the business and away from the restaurant.
According to the Post, the trouble all started with disagreements over the restaurant's rapid, many-armed expansion. When the three couldn't come to terms, Mirarchi and Hoy tried to buy Parachini out, offering him $2 million for his 25 percent share in the company. Parachini countered that is was worth a lot more than that – he wanted $2.9 for his share of the restaurant properties (in Bushwick and the Rockaways), plus another $2.5 million for intellectual property.
From there, things went downhill. For four months, the trio failed to come to an agreement, while Parachini remained absent from the restaurant. Then in December, Parachini showed up at the restaurant, and allegedly started telling staff he was the "boss." His partners responded by calling the police. The police refused to intervene, but Hoy and Mirarchi were convinced that the whole thing would end in a "physical altercation," due to "the prior history with Mr. Parachini and his erratic behavior." So they filed a lawsuit to keep him away from the restaurant.
Parachini tells the Post that the claims are ridiculous, that he presents no physical threat, and that Mirarchi and Hoy are stealing his ownership. In any case, the trio will battle it out in court late next month, when Mirarchi and Hoy plan to bring 15 employees to testify against Parachini.
Meanwhile, the disagreements that started this all are interesting in themselves. Partly, Parachini is upset that his partners allegedly went behind his back to make changes to the restaurant's new takeaway shop. But he also fought with them over plans for a project in Asia and talks to open a restaurant in the Ace Hotel currently in the works on the Lower East Side. So the real question is, is that still happening? Eater has reached out to Roberta's for comment on the case, and more on these possible new projects.