EMM Group, of popular hotspots Abe & Arthur's, Catch, SL, and Lexington Brass, are facing a lawsuit after an investor claimed they misappropriated funds. The investor, Gregory Struck, is accusing Eugene Remm, Mark Birnbaum, and Michael Hirschtein of fraud and "breaching their respective fiduciary duties to their investors."
According to the lawsuit, in 2008 Struck invested 1 million in exchange for 13 shares during the groups venture of Abe & Arthur's. As the restaurant gained popularity Struck began receiving regular checks totaling $700,000 in the first year. As time went on the check amounts started to dwindle until eventually they stopped altogether in 2011-- coinciding with the time frame that plans for Catch were announced. Leaving Struck to believe they used profits from Abe & Arthur's to start another business instead of paying out to investors. Stuck also believes the group underhanded him by kicking him out of the company for "violating terms and conditions of his investor agreement" when he attempted to recruit an EMM employee for one of his own ventures. Even though he claims he made it clear to EMM that he planned on starting his own venues eventually.
He also claims the remainder of his investment, $300,000, was never returned as promised. Struck is seeking damages as well as compensation for the fair market value of Sutol. He is also asking for restoration as an investor in the company and demanding that a receiver replace Birnbaum and Remm as fiduciaries of the company.
As big fans of EMM Group, we hope this gets settled peacefully!
Psst.. we hear that EMM Group will be opening 'Catch' in Miami. After the success of the New York version, Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum will bring the seafood-club hybrid to the east coast's hottest getaway spot, South Beach. Miami has become an increasingly popular spot for New Yorker's to escape to over the past few years, making it the latest city nightlife impresarios wish to expand upon.
Late last year rumors swirled that EMM Group would be opening Abe & Arthur's at the James Royal Palm Hotel in 2012, however they reconsidered and decided to open Catch, citing "a lack of seafood-specific restaurant options in Miami, and a desire expressed by its residents for more social, shareable, city-style dining" as the reason.
Thanksgiving week is here, people, and that means it's time to get your drink on. Luckily, last Tuesday November 15th, noted mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim held a class called Demystifying the Martini, aimed to provide lucky attendees with all the knowledge of making the perfect martini. Don't worry, those of you who, er, weren't invited, can still reap the benefits of Tony's class. You may not know the history of the gin cocktail, or have had hands on experience at Catch crafting delicious cocktails, but now you can have the recipes and imbibe yourself this Thanksgiving. And don't forget to go behind the scenes and read Tony's interview!
Bottoms (and turkeys) up!
You would be surprised how many people go out on Monday nights in NYC. It's arguably the favorite night to go out for many New Yorkers. Most people might think: "don't these people have to work in the AM?" And yes most of them do. How people stay out till 4am and then go to work at 8am remains a mystery to me. Monday-Thursday nights are my favorite nights to go out in the city. The clubs on the weekends are filled with riff raff and amateurs, the streets are filled with puke and it's very likely you will see a random shoe (yes, just one shoe) on the ground. This past Monday I had dinner at Catch, the new EMM group venue in the meat packing and then went to the lounge upstairs.
Last night, guests came together at new restaurant and hot spot Catch to celebrate the preview launch of Citizen NY, an interactive, unique, magazine created for iPads. In an exclusive showing prior to its offical November 1st launch, guests had a chance to see the new magazine in action. Nick Huppert co-founder and editor-in-chief said, “I think we’re doing something really special here, and it’s super exciting
to see people engage with the Citizen New York app for the first time."
Attendees also stayed well hydrated with endless Belvedere vodka drinks and enjoyed signature Catch appetizers created by Top Chef and Catch executive chef Hung Huynh. Unfortunately, I arrived pretty late and missed the appetizers, so I can't comment on how delicious they were (though I'm certain they were amazing). I'm also allergic to vodka, so I kept it extra cool (newsflash, I still use a Blackberry!) and party pooped with a glass of water. There was also a photo booth where you could cheese the night away --which was pretty clutch. The crowd was lively, excited, and Catch served as the perfect venue. Layed out in a long rectanglular shape with booths on each side and walls of windows, the space is airy, comfortable, and open.
Citizen NY is currently the only magazine of its kind "set against the backdrop of the greatest city in the world, featuring amazing design and interactivity, Citizen New York showcases the culture of success that is life in the Big Apple."
All photos by Guest of a Guest
Welcome to the First Course Restaurant Roundup where we'll share our Top 5 places to dine out right now. This list is ever changing so be sure to look back for our latest insights. In the meantime, check out these new locals that promise to be worth their pricetag.
Catch: The new venture from Top Chef winner Hung Huynh that opens October 1, Catch pairs Asian flavors with tastes of the Mediterranian for what's sure to be a tasty scene. The prime Meat Packing locale and boldface business partners from the EMM Group (Abe and Arthur's) are sure to help its klout score as well. 21 Ninth Avenue (at 13th Street)