A handful of former Seasalt and Pepper employees are suing the riverside hotspot saying they were unjustly fired when tensions arose between partners Carlos Miranda and Stephane Dupoux.
Former assistant manager Christophe Chalange filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on June 2 alleging Seasalt broke a six-month contract and hasn't paid him since he was he laid off in early March.
"They owe me," said Chalange. "I'm not 20 years old, I'm a professional."
Former Seasalt DJ Pierre Zonzon said he was also shown the door as the infighting between Miranda and Dupoux began spiraling out of control, and has hired a lawyer to prevent the restaurant from using his photos, which he was also hired to take.
Dupoux, who designed Nikki Beach and legendary Paris hotspot Buddha Bar, filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade court against the restaurant and partner Carlos Miranda alleging he was wrongly squeezed out of his management role at the restaurant. In court documents he claims the restaurant is taking in nearly $300,000 weekly.
At the same time, Seasalt is also embroiled in a legal battle with its investors. The restaurant alleges that its initial success pushed backers to drastically alter the terms on a nearly $3 million loan in hopes of clawing back more money, along with an ownership stake in the celebrity-laden riverside restaurant.
"You'll know what's happening very soon," said Robert Zarco, an attorney representing the restaurant. "The parties are working toward an agreement."
Zarco acknowledged, though didn't comment on, Chalange's lawsuit.
Chalange said a third man, a bar manager hired by Dupoux, was also let go and is suing the restaurant -- he couldn't be reached for comment. Miami-Dade court records show only two ongoing lawsuits.
Zonzon argued the dismissal of the group hired by Dupoux has led the scene to change from an international crowd to one that's mainly "Latin." Zarco says the restaurant's business hasn't suffered despite the legal battles.
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"The restaurant is killing it," Zarco said. "The people love it and they're doing great."