The feuding owners of Seasalt and Pepper have nearly reached a deal where real estate developer Carlos Miranda would buy out nightclub designer Stephane Dupoux's half of the business for an undisclosed sum.
According to state corporation documents filed in late April, Miranda made a request to remove Dupoux's name from Seasalt and Pepper LLC, which manages the posh riverside restaurant. Dupoux would remain a partner in the restaurant's holding company, but would officially be out of its day-to-day operations, which he said has been the case since he was forced out earlier this year.
Dupoux said the deal was supposed to be sealed on July 1, but that Miranda and lawyers have been stalling.
"They don't have the money," he said, "that's my suspicion."
Dupoux sued Miranda in Miami-Dade circuit court earlier this year claiming he was barred from management and that the restaurant's strategy was changed from the initial vision he and Miranda agreed upon. Dupoux claims the restaurant has been earning upwards of $300,000 weekly.
"No settlement that has been finalized," the restaurant's attorney Robert Zarco said.
A number of employees brought by Dupoux and hired with contracts said they were let go due to the souring of the partners' relationship. 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.
Zarco said when the rift between Dupoux and Miranda opened, many employees announced their allegiance, putting the operations of the restaurant in jeopardy.
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"The chef as well as some members of the kitchen advised that if Stephane gets back into management, they will leave the restaurant," he told New Times in early May.
Seasalt opened to a flurry of publicity earlier this year and in its first weeks hosted a bevy of celebrities, including Jay Z, Beyoncé, and the Estefans all on the same night.