New Orleans chefs Alon Shaya and John Besh have officially ended their legal fight over the Shaya name, the New Orleans Advocate reports. Yesterday, the two chefs reached a settlement stating that BRG Hospitality will continue to operate the Israeli restaurant Shaya under the name Shaya. The exact terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Shaya split from BRG Hospitality (then, Besh Restaurant Group) in September 2017, shortly before the Times-Picayune broke the news of sexual harassment allegations against Besh. After Shaya filed for trademarks on the names “Shaya” and “Alon Shaya” and sent a cease-and-desist to his namesake restaurant, BRG Hospitality sued the chef, claiming that the hospitality group was integral to the success of restaurant Shaya. Shaya then countersued for the right to use his name and requested that BRG stop using the name while the case was under review. That request was denied.
Shaya is a star restaurant in the BRG portfolio. It opened in 2015, the same year chef Shaya won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: South for his work at Domenica, another BRG-owned restaurant. Shaya the restaurant went on to win Eater’s Restaurant of the Year award in 2015, and in 2016, it won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. Shaya was the chef and partner at Shaya as well as at Domenica and Pizza Domenica. He is no longer affiliated with any of the restaurants.
According to the New Orleans Advocate, Besh and Shaya are ending the lawsuit amicably. BRG released a statement on behalf of both chefs, stating: “Both parties acknowledge the difficult circumstances that are inherent with a business dispute, but also recognize the significant achievements accomplished together over the course of many years of collaboration.”
The release also includes individual statements from both parties. “I am thankful for all the support and opportunities the BRG team has provided over the years,” Shaya said in his statement. “I’m looking forward to the next stage in my career with an appreciation for the hard work and great team it took to get here.”
That next stage will include a competing Israeli restaurant in New Orleans. Shaya is opening Saba this spring with his own restaurant group, Pomegranate Hospitality. The group’s second restaurant, Safta, will open in Denver later this year. Meanwhile, Shaya, the restaurant, remains open with a different chef, but the same name.
• John Besh, Alon Shaya reach settlement; legal feud ends with kind words, separate restaurants [The New Orleans Advocate]
• Alon Shaya Will Open Two New Restaurants This Year [E]
• Alon Shaya Is Not Getting His Namesake NOLA Restaurant Back [E]