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Court Filings Reveal NOLA Chef Alon Shaya Rejected an Expansion to Houston

But BRG Hospitality insists that Eunice is still on its way to Space City

Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By Coca-Cola - Dinner with Alon Shaya, Nick Anderer and Justin Smillie part of the Bank of America Dinner Series presented by The Wall Street Journal Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images for NYCWFF
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

In the ongoing legal drama between New Orleans chefs Alon Shaya and John Besh, court filings reveal that Shaya’s iconic eponymous restaurant could have landed in Houston.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Shaya rejected multiple proposals from Besh Restaurant Group to bring restaurants under his name to Houston, along with outposts in Los Angeles and the New Orleans Warehouse District. The documents do not specify whether those proposals involved Shaya’s former restaurant Dominica, or another outpost of Shaya, the restaurant that earned the chef a Best Chef: South award from the James Beard Foundation and recognition as Eater’s Best New Restaurant in 2015. But, suffice it to say, Shaya doesn’t have his sights set on Houston.

For those unfamiliar with the saga, Shaya’s rejection of Space City is used in court documents to prove that the chef, who is currently suing BRG Hospitality (formerly known as Besh Restaurant Group) for the right to use his name in future projects, has legal control of his name. After parting ways with BRG Hospitality, Shaya struck out on his own, but hasn’t yet opened any new restaurants. Of course, BRG is also suing Shaya, claiming that the company owns the exclusive rights to use the Shaya name for its restaurants.

Former partner John Besh has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 25 women. Though Besh has stepped down from the hospitality group, BRG is still purportedly planning to open a “Creole brasserie” called Eunice at Houston’s Greenway Plaza. In the works since 2016 and expected to open in 2017, that project is now long-delayed, and the opening timeline hasn’t been updated in months.

Update, 12:46 p.m.: In a tweet to Eater Houston, Shaya responds: