*(Via Jet Mag) – Chicago-based and Black-owned restaurant and lounge, Nouveau Tavern, is making culinary headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The establishment, which opened in October, has collected rave reviews for its upscale New Orleans cuisine and ability to morph into an elegant nightlife experience.
But what it lacks is the support of residents in the tiny area of River North where it’s located, at least according to owner Marsette Mangum who told JETmag.com he was appalled after reading this Eater Chicago article in which he claims he was misidentified as a former felon and, as a result, lost his food and liquor licensing.
Mangum contends that the city is confusing him with lifelong friend and well-known party promoter, Teddy Gilmore, who is actually a marketing consultant contracted by Nouveau Tavern.
Gilmore volunteered to JETmag.com that he has a felony on his record, related to tax issues from his party promoting past.
“It’s libelous,” Gilmore told JETmag.com of the swapped identities and current news about Nouveau. Gilmore also said that he believes officials served the tavern with closure notice in the late evening on April 11 in order to keep them from capitalizing off of their usual weekend traffic.
“The establishment was operating without food and liquor licenses and was shut down,” a Chicago police spokeswoman is quoted as telling Eater Chicago. “This action was taken with prior consultation of the local liquor commission and business and consumer affairs.”
“They are targeting us big time,” Gilmore insisted. ”In fact, the health inspector was sent down there today, and we’ve done nothing but try to be a great restaurant.”
Those efforts are failing, Mangum explained. The area he has invested in does not appear to be welcoming, and not due to the conduct of his guests, but because of the color of their skin. It’s an issue related to Chicago’s larger problems of segregation, both he and Gilmore argue. Gilmore, in fact, was quoted on the issue of Chicago segregation in this WBEZ-FM piece about the color-coded party scene.
Get the rest of this story at JetMag.