Looks like disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman has found another new business project. The famed Spotted Pig owner — who has been accused of behavior such as forcibly kissing staffers — has applied for a liquor license on the North Fork, an increasingly trendy area of Long Island. He’s working on it with Jennilee Morris and Jess Dunne of North Fork Roasting Company, a popular coffee roaster and restaurant in the area, Dunne confirmed to Eater by phone on Wednesday.
Dunne says they’re not ready to reveal more details about the spot yet, which is located at 57125 Main Rd. in Southold and has the LLC name of “Days of Wine and Roses.” She also declined to comment on the allegations against Friedman. Eater has reached out to Friedman as well.
It’s quite the development for the influential restaurateur, who split with his longtime business partner April Bloomfield last year following the explosive allegations. North Fork Roasting Co., which launched in 2015, is well-liked in the area. When Dunne’s dog was having issues, locals raised $5,000 for its care within a week. Critic Robert Sietsema has also spoken highly of the food and coffee at North Fork Roasting Co.
What accused restaurateurs do in business following misconduct allegations has been a big question in the industry, with many criticizing “comeback” attempts of high-profile figures like Friedman. He also almost teamed up with Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman of East Village favorite Prune, but the deal fell through after the duo said they couldn’t reach a deal that was “just and ethical.”
Friedman, meanwhile, has largely denied allegations and is also facing lawsuits from partners, including a $5 million one from the operator of the Ace Hotel in New York where he’s accused of financial misdeeds.