Thomas Carter is out at his restaurants. The restaurateur — who’s been accused of instilling a “culture of fear” at his restaurants — is no longer financially involved in the popular spots that he owns with chef Ignacio Mattos, including Estela, Flora Bar, and Cafe Altro Paradiso, the Times reports.
According to the Times, Mattos bought out Carter’s shares in Matter House’s three restaurants, which are acclaimed and highly influential for their hip, exacting aesthetic. Notably, despite the allegations coming out just four months ago, Carter is the first NYC restaurateur who’s been accused of misconduct to completely nix financial ties to the businesses that he helped build. Other accused men, including Mario Batali and Ken Friedman, maintain ownership stakes in their empires more than a year after allegations came to light, meaning they continue to profit despite stepping away from day-to-day operations. Batali is in the process of divesting, though it has yet to be finalized.
In August, Eater published an investigation on Carter’s behavior based on conversations with more than 30 staffers, finding that the restaurateur and sommelier had a pattern of alleged verbal misconduct — such as repeated mentions of his penis, common use of insults like “fucking retard,” and inappropriate comments about female staff and customers. Employees also accused Mattos of being aware of the behavior. Shortly after, Carter stepped down from operations.
As the #MeToo movement continues to ripple throughout the industry, accused men have been stepping down from operations at restaurants across the country, but cutting financial ties has proved to be a more complicated affair.
Eater has reached out to the restaurant group for more details. Stay tuned for more.
Here’s the full statement from Matter House:
Ignacio Mattos and Thomas Carter have come to a mutual agreement to part ways, with Mattos purchasing Carter’s interests in Estela, Cafe Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar. Carter has resigned from all of his positions and will no longer be associated with the restaurants or management company.