Just about four months after Bryan Caswell’s Oxbow 7 made its debut at Le Meridien Houston, the chef’s contract to run the hotel restaurant has been terminated.
News broke late Friday afternoon that Caswell and his wife Jennifer were no longer affiliated with the restaurant that they opened at Le Meridien, and according to the Houston Chronicle, the restaurateur duo is “in discussions with an attorney” to figure out how to proceed after the shock of being essentially kicked out of the restaurant that they created. ““It’s our belief they didn’t provide us with the ability to do our job the way we were hired to do,” Jennifer Caswell told the Chron.
It’s been a rough year for the Caswells, who opened Oxbow 7 just after Hurricane Harvey hit. During the storm, the couple’s flagship restaurant Reef was damaged extensively, and still has not reopened as construction continues on the space. In fact, Le Meridien’s owners claimed that the termination came as a way to let the Caswells focus on reopening Reef. “With the unfortunate — terrible — impact that Hurricane Harvey had on Houston, with Reef shutting down, it made sense for them to focus on Reef,” said Gary Prosterman, a spokesman for the hotel’s owners. “We appreciate what they did to help us get going, and we wish them the best.”
Oxbow 7 will continue to operate as usual, with a few “tweaks” to its menu and service. Reef is expected to reopen in February.