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Jose Garces

Chef Jose Garces, who brought Philadelphia some of its most buzzed about restaurants, has been in hot water for months. He is facing lawsuit after lawsuit over money mismanagement. Most recently, the Philadelphia Inquirier reported that early investors in Amada, Village Whiskey, and Tinto filed suit seeking to remove the chef from his managerial duties at those three restaurants.

If Village Whiskey sounds familiar, it’s because Garces was planning to open a D.C. outpost of the whiskey and burger bar in Blagden Alley next to Tiger Fork. Construction appeared to come to a dead stop a few months ago. Today representatives confirm that the project will not be moving forward. 

Garces filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday. The same day, he announced he was selling his multi-restaurant operation to a hospitality group called Ballard Brands for $5 million. The Louisiana-based company says Garces will remain “the creative vision behind the restaurants.”

Back in 2016, Edens, Level 2 Development, and Trammell Crow Residential announced that Garces would be bringing a Latin food hall to the Union Market District (1270 Fourth St. NE). A representative from Ballard Brands says that the food hall is still on track to open. 

Garces is not a new name in D.C. He was also behind Rural Society, which closed in 2017.