Rowen Seibel, licensed operator of Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace, was released from Federal incarceration on Dec. 27 and six days later, his Strip-facing restaurant was shut down.
The inevitable closure had been planned for weeks, with the popular tourist destination scheduling Jan. 1 as the final day to accept reservations. By Tuesday morning, the white furniture was being removed from the very covetous location, sitting almost flush with Las Vegas Boulevard.
Seibel, registered inmate number 77374-054, had been busted for hiding at least $1,011,279 in taxable earnings from the IRS. The money was hidden away in undeclared "Swiss bank accounts and a Panamanian shell company."
U.S. District Judge William Pauley had previously ordered Seibel to "complete 300 hours doing food preparation in an underprivileged neighborhood" following a month in jail and to complete six months of home detention.
Publicly available court documents reveal Seibel's frequent business partner, former Caesars vice president of food and beverage Jeffrey Frederick, attempting to plead for leniency with the judge, repeatedly referring to Seibel as his "best friend" and praising him for helping rehabilitate his son Tyler's "reckless and irresponsible behavior." Tyler Frederick now works as a chef for Frederick's Rise & Shine breakfast-focused restaurant.
In an odd coincidence, Wicked Slice, another of Frederick's non-Caesars related ventures, shuttered at the Fashion Show mall on Dec. 28, barely two months after opening day. The pizza joint was best noted for earning 5-star Yelp reviews from a suspicious number of first-time reviewers, all with zero "friends."
Seibel had made his local reputation via a partnership with chef Gordon Ramsay, a relationship the celebrity chef now very vocally regrets. The pair continue to mired in a $10 million legal war over who was responsible for the collapse of their Fat Cow eatery in Los Angeles. Ramsay’s team of lawyers claim "Mr. Seibel stole from the restaurant account" and used his connection with Ramsay to secure other deals, as he "traveled throughout the world blatantly mischaracterizing his rights under agreements governing restaurant ventures involving Mr. Ramsay."
Still working its way through the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the case awaits both Seibel and Ramsay's amended depositions. Current rebuttal and expert reports will push a resolution back to Mar. 16 at the very earliest.
Serendipity 3 debuted in April 2009, creating a modern upgrade of the 62-year-old New York institution, a favorite of celebrities and guilt-ridden divorced fathers accompanying their young daughters. Their signature item remains the "Frrrozen Hot chocolate," available in mix form for any Las Vegas visitors who will miss their sweet fix.
Seibel had no familial or previous business connection to the Manhattan restaurant and earlier ran into trouble with the parent company for selling unapproved souvenirs and adding items to the canonical menu. While local rumor persists that Gordon Ramsay will make this spot his next home for a future restaurant, the resort has recently trademarked the very apt name Stripside Café & Bar, should they wish to operate the space under their own umbrella. No current permits have been filed for an immediate remodel of the space.