Everything coming out of the kitchen at Southern Goods may look pretty great, but there’s some juicy legal drama brewing behind the scenes.
CultureMap reports that Southern Goods executive chef and co-owner Lyle Bento has filed a lawsuit against his business partner Charles Bishop, seeking damages of $100,000. According to a petition filed in Harris County Court on October 10, Bento alleges that Bishop improperly used company funds for personal and business expenses not related to operation of the restaurant.
Perhaps most damning is Bento’s allegation that Bishop defrauded him by lying about “financial information” in order to encourage him to invest in the project. He alleges that instead of paying dividends to Bento and other investors in the restaurant, he used profits from the restaurant to pay his own “individual debts and expenses and dividends to Bishop’s other business ventures instead.”
In the suit, Bento also filed for a temporary restraining order that would prevent Bishop from selling the restaurant’s property or accessing Southern Goods’ bank accounts. The restraining order would also “prevent Bishop from acting on behalf of Southern Goods as manager, member, employee, or otherwise.”
You may remember that the team at Southern Goods is currently working on a new concept, the much-anticipated 60 Pioneers. Bishop tells CultureMap that Bento will no longer be involved with that project, but that the restaurant will open as planned. Photos of construction progress on the space have been posted to 60 Pioneers’ Facebook page as recently as September 20.
Bento and Bishop will appear in court on October 17 to determine whether or not Bento’s request for a restraining order will be granted. Stay tuned for more updates on this lawsuit.