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Mike Isabella ended his business relationship with Georgetown Mexican restaurant Bandolero this morning. “Everything has been dissolved,” he says. He says the decision was his.
The chef of Graffiato, Kapnos, and G sandwich shop says he wanted to focus more time on his new restaurants. Isabella was never a partner in Bandolero, but rather had a management agreement as chef. “I just thought at this point it was time to move on,” he says. Isabella claims that the decision had nothing to do with the ongoing lawsuits between Bandolero owners Jonathan and Bethany Umbel and their Georgetown landlord, who is trying to evict the restaurant.
Isabella also says he remains on good terms with the Umbels. “Our relationship was always a positive business relationship. There’s no issues between us at all,” he says.
The Umbels seemed taken aback about the news. “What are you talking about?” Bethany Umbel said. She said she would call Y&H back. We’ll update when she does.
UPDATE: Bethany Umbel was surprised by the news of Isabella’s departure. She says she learned about the split from Y&H, not Isabella. She and her husband Jonathan Umbel have not yet spoken to Isabella. “I have not gotten an email. I have not gotten a text message,” Bethany says. “I’ve gotten absolutely zero communication.”
Bethany says chef Juan Rivera, who goes by the name Tony Starr, will remain in the kitchen, and Bandolero will continue to use Isabella’s recipes.
Photo by Jessica Sidman