More possible money issues are coming out of the woodwork from shuttered White Gold, the Upper West Side restaurant-butcher shop originally opened by chef April Bloomfield and beleagured restaurateur Ken Friedman. A farm in upstate New York is suing Friedman and the restaurant for nearly $40,000 in unpaid invoices — cash owed for animals that ended up at the shop.
Derrick and Nicole Deboer of At Ease Acres allege that the restaurant had a balance of more than $33,000 starting in early 2018, according to the suit filed on Thursday by restaurant attorney Kevin O’Donoghue.
White Gold Butchers was paying it off weekly, the suit claims, but by April 2018, “it became known that WGB would close as a result of the schism between Bloomfield and Friedman,” a decision following the allegations of sexual misconduct against Friedman. At that point, the restaurant still owed the farm $37,513.39, money that still has yet to be paid, the suit alleges.
Ease Acres is a small farm, and White Gold Butchers — which opened in 2016 with the mantra of serving up local, nose-to-tail butchery — was its primary client, the suit says. “Without payment, the farm will default on its other obligations, both for the farm and personally,” the suit says. The Deboers are asking for the owed money, plus costs, fees, interest, and damages.
The butchers involved in the restaurant, Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest, left in March, and when Friedman and Bloomfield split their empire this summer, White Gold went to Friedman. It closed in August, with a note on the door saying that a new restaurant would be going into the space.
This suit is the second time this week that a business associated with the restaurant has demanded money. Over the weekend, the landlord of the property, located at 375 Amsterdam Ave. at 78th Street, posted a notice saying that the restaurant owes nearly $60,000 in rent. Bloomfield is not named as a defendant in this new lawsuit, but she and hotelier Ed Scheetz, an investor in the restaurant, are named as owners of the restaurant’s LLC.
Friedman and Scheetz did not immediately respond to request for comment. Bloomfield declined to comment.