Kevin Kelley, the restaurateur who opened Taste Bar and Kitchen and currently sits at the center of an twerking-related firestorm, is no longer affiliated with the Midtown eatery.
Chef and owner Don Bowie tells Eater that Kelley parted ways with the business sometime this fall, but declined to provide further details on the situation. It’s not exactly a surprise, considering that Kelley and Bowie are currently suing each other in a pair of highly dramatic lawsuits in a Harris County court.
In his lawsuit, Kelley claims that Bowie was responsible for inappropriately taking out Payroll Protection Program loans in the restaurant’s name without Kelley’s permission, along with a host of other alleged financial misdeeds. Meanwhile, Bowie alleges that Kelley tanked a deal Bowie had with an investor by saying that the chef “wouldn’t stop stealing.”
The news comes as Kelley is embroiled in a major controversy surrounding an incident at his Dallas restaurant, True Kitchen and Kocktails. Over the weekend, video of Kelley yelling at a dining room full of people after women in the restaurant were caught twerking on the furniture went viral on social media. “All this twerking shit, don’t bring it here because we’re a restaurant,” Kelley says in the video. “If you wanna do it, get the fuck out my restaurant. Don’t do it again. I don’t want to hear it if you don’t like it, get out because I don’t need your money.”
Scope out the video, which has racked up more than a million views, here:
Restaurant SUICIDE on camera. pic.twitter.com/9Bkr6q3lyF— DJ Green Villain (@DJGreenVillain) November 30, 2020
The opening of True Kitchen and Kocktails was also a point of contention in the lawsuit Bowie filed against Kelley in August. In that filing, Bowie claims that Kelley stole the recipes for his popular chicken and waffles and other dishes to open the restaurant while cutting Bowie out of the deal. Both suits are still pending.