Business partners at Atlantic Social are suing Dale Talde and his restaurant group for $3.5 million — claiming that the chef and his team have been sabotaging the Barclays Center-area restaurant since it opened earlier this year.
Brothers George and Steven Menexas filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging that Talde and his partners David Massoni and John Bush of the Three Kings Restaurant Group had a “fraudulent scheme” going at Atlantic Social, a sprawling restaurant at 673 Atlantic Avenue.
The suit alleges that Talde and his team used the Atlantic Social staff to do work for their other restaurants, and that they diverted sales from Atlantic Social to businesses like Talde, which the Menexas’ do not own.
The group’s attorney issued a statement denying the brothers’ allegations: “This entire complaint is preposterous. We look forward to resolving this matter appropriately in arbitration, which is what the parties' contracts require.”
The Daily News first reported this lawsuit.
The Menexas brothers own Atlantic Social, but they previously ran the space as a Tony Roma’s franchise. They partnered up with Three Kings to run the restaurant in fall 2016, and by February 2017, the restaurant reopened as Atlantic Social under Three Kings’ management. The brothers are not involved in Three Kings’ other restaurants, which include Talde in Park Slope, Talde in New Jersey, Massoni, and Rice and Gold.
Besides the allegation of using Atlantic Social staff for other restaurants, the brothers accuse Three Kings of taking equipment such as a $2,329 freezer from Atlantic Social to use at other locations. They also claim one of the Three Kings’ managers deleted “large amounts of information” from the Atlantic Social computer.
Atlantic Social, a 250-seat restaurant with games and a big bar, serves fare like pan pizzas, pastas, and General Tso’s wings. It was billed as a crowd-pleasing Talde restaurant when it opened in February. Many of the staff had already worked for Three Kings restaurants in Brooklyn that had closed. This restaurant remains open, and Three Kings is still managing it.
The Menexas’ have been prolific restaurant franchise owners. They used to own several outposts of Tony Roma’s and have previously also worked with Dunkin’ Donuts and Jamba Juice for locations as well.
The Daily News notes that the restaurant is currently being sued for more than $60,000 over an unpaid bill, and the Menexases’ holding company is also being sued as well, by a former employee who claims she was not paid overtime.