Restauranteur Who Went Viral For Chastising Twerking Customers Has Cut Ties With Houston-Based Location
Kelley and his business partner have been locked into legal battles since the summer in a couple of dramatic lawsuits.
December 04, 2020 at 6:45 am
Kevin Kelley, the restaurant owner who went viral for chastising customers twerking at his Dallas establishment, is no longer a part of the leadership group that runs its Houston sister location, Taste Bar + Kitchen.
Chef and former business partner, Don Bowie, said Kelley, who also opened TRUE Kitchen + Cocktails in Dallas, hasn’t been affiliated with the Houston business since sometime in the fall but declined to elaborate further on the fallout, according to Eater Houston.
As Blavity previously reported, Kelley was at the center of controversy this past weekend when a video was shared online of him yelling at customers at the Dallas location after a group of women started twerking.
"All this twerking and s**t, take it to Prime, take it to Pink. Don't bring it here because we're a restaurant. Beyond that, 75% of our customers are ladies and I want men to show respect for how they carry themselves. How can I tell the men to respect [you] and you guys are twerking on the glass here? If you want to do it, get the f**k out of my restaurant,” Kelley said.
Restaurant SUICIDE on camera. pic.twitter.com/9Bkr6q3lyF
— DJ Green Villain (@DJGreenVillain) November 30, 2020
Both Bowie and Kelley are involved in litigation and are suing each other in a pair of lawsuits in a Harris County court, Eater Houston reported. Kelley’s suit argues that Bowie took out Payroll Protection Program loans in the restaurant’s name without his permission, in addition to a number of other alleged financial schemes. On the other hand, Bowie contends that Kelley sabotaged a deal he had with an investor by accusing the chef of stealing.
Interestingly enough, the Dallas location’s opening was brought into question by Bowie’s August lawsuit against Kelley. Bowie said Kelley stole recipes like his popular chicken and waffles to start the restaurant while disenfranchising him out of the deal.
Initially, a county judge issued a temporary restraining order that restricted Bowie from dealing with any funds associated with the restaurant or taking out additional loans in its name, while also barring him from using the restaurant’s recipes to start a new brand. In July, the order was extended for seven days and another hearing was scheduled on July 20 to possibly extend the restraining order further, but that hearing has since been rescheduled, per Eater Houston.
Bowie’s Aug. 7 countersuit denies his business partner’s allegations, including claims that he stole cash, inadmissibly took out payroll protection loans and conspired to keep the money for himself. It also argues that Bowie isn’t obligated to the terms of his agreement with Kelley because the restaurant has a different name than the one detailed in their contract.
Bowie said that their agreement doesn’t apply to Taste Bar + Kitchen, the Houston restaurant operated by them, because the name of the restaurant referred to in the agreement is “Taste Restaurant and Bar.”
The chef also revealed that Kelley hired his sister to act as Taste Bar + Kitchen’s accountant. He said she wasn’t qualified to do the work and advised him to transfer $60,000 from the restaurant’s bank account to Kelley, which left the business in poor financial health.