Almost all signs of disgraced chef Mario Batali’s restaurant empire in Las Vegas disappear after July 27. His business partner Joe Bastianich announced that three of the duo’s restaurants close at the Venetian, Palazzo, and Grand Canal Shoppes, an announcement that comes less than a week after 60 Minutes revealed new sexual misconduct allegations.
Employees at Carnevino at the Palazzo, B&B Ristorante at the Venetian, and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria at the Grand Canal Shoppes learned that the restaurants would close via a letter from B&B Hospitality Group partner Bastianich, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Bastianich says Venetian/Palazzo parent company Sands Corp. decided to end the leases for the three restaurants, which employ almost 300.
“I am committed to continuing our presence in Las Vegas. I am beginning to explore options, but it will take some time to execute them,” Bastianich writes, telling employees he plans to visit employees on Friday to discuss how the restaurant will wrap up the next 60 days of business.
Batali faces new allegations of sexual conduct following a 60 Minutes segment on Sunday night. The New York Police Department told the CBS news show that Batali is under investigation for potentially criminal behavior, although specifics were not revealed.
Anderson Cooper talked to several women who worked at The Spotted Pig, the New York restaurant in which Batali invested and where groping incidents were reported. A new anonymous former Babbo employee came forward on the show, alleging that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. She cited scratches on her leg and semen on her skirt as evidence of a sexual assault after she woke up on the third floor of The Spotted Pig surrounded by broken bottles the next morning. The woman did undergo an examination at a hospital, but declined to file a police report. Batali denies the incident.
The downfall of Batali started last December when an Eater investigation revealed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Soon after, Batali stepped away from his Italian restaurant empire. The celebrity chef who appeared on The Chew, which was just cancelled, admitted at the time that “much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.”
Batali also has a stake in Eataly, opening at the Park MGM later this year. No word on whether that restaurant and Italian market will move forward under the Eataly banner.
• Mario Batali and The Spotted Pig [60 Minutes]