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Smith and Mills Fights for Its Right to Party

Smith and Mills
Last time the Beatrice Inn was closed down, owner Matt Abramcyk told us that he was renovating to address noise complaints. In the case of his other bar, Smith and Mills, Abramcyk is taking the offensive by suing — and attempting to convince a court to evict — an upset neighbor who, from the Post’s description of her, seems to be as diminutive as the restaurant. A lawsuit claims the woman has tried to prevent construction, barred patrons from entering, screamed inside of the restaurant, and smashed glasses and bottles — and not in a fun, Siberia way. Will other bar owners invoke a similar “Good riddance, neighbor” policy? We’re looking at you, Death & Co. Legal Bar Brawl [NYP] Related: To Life For Death & Co. [Diner's Journal/NYT]

Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano War With ‘Jealous Competitors’ Kyky and Unik of PM

Richie Akiva
Last week the Daily News brought word that Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano are being sued for $120 million by developer Emilio Barletta, who claims he’s the rightful lease holder of the space that houses the Butter boys’ club 1 OAK. What the News doesn’t mention, but our inside sources do, is that Barletta, owner of Zanzibar, was planning to partner in the space with PM owners Kyky and Unik, last seen plotting a now-abandoned Italian bistro in the Sascha space.

Ever Work at Heartland Brewery? Time to Sue!

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If you’ve worked an hourly job at Heartland Brewery’s six locations (including Spanky’s BBQ) in the past three years, start checking your mailbox. You won’t get an invite to the company Christmas party, but your presence is requested for a class-action lawsuit about minimum wage and overtime. A judge has ruled that attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum can send out the notice, which he’s taking as a positive sign: “The court bought into the fact that corruption, if there, applied equally to everyone at every location.” So if you feel ripped off, join eighteen of your former colleagues and place your order with the American legal system. Memorandum & Order: Peter Fasanelli v. Heartland Brewery [PDF] Earlier: Legal Battle on Tap for Heartland Brewery

Restaurant Daniel's Not a Noisy Neighbor, Court Rules

Daniel Boulud
A New York Supreme Court judge has ruled that Daniel Boulud is a good neighbor, the Post reports. The court dismissed a complaint filed by Robert and Frances Pildes against Restaurant Daniel for excessive noise. The court found, essentially, that the Pildes knew what they were getting when they bought a condo above a restaurant. While the Pildes made it sound like they complained all the time about noise, the court found only one instance that the Pildes had made a written, legitimate complaint. Only once could the Pildes prove that noise levels were too high at Daniel, and that was on New Year's Eve.

Overtime Suits Officially a Buzz Topic

We’ve learned that Juan Garcia-Espinoza, a dishwasher who worked at Carmine’s for two and a half years is suing the South Street Seaport dive (no relation to the Upper West Side pasta joint) for allegedly violating overtime laws by paying him a miserly $260 to $300 for workweeks as long as 58 hours. We’ve pointed out that these cases are increasingly becoming “man bites dog,” and the cover story of this week’s Business Week proves it: In the last few years, companies have blown about $1 billion resolving them. At this point wouldn’t even Mr. Burns agree that that money is better spent fairly compensating workers in the first place? Related: Wage Wars [Business Week]

Aspen Cooks Lodge Complaint

Aspen
Greg Brier, owner of Amalia (where Ivy Stark may checking out), may be in hot water because of alleged labor-law violations at his ski-lodge-themed restaurant, Aspen — and we don’t mean the Jacuzzi. Attorney Michael Falliache has brought a lawsuit against Brier and Aspen alleging that six named employees (including line cooks and a dishwasher) worked at pay rates such as $303 for 60 hours per week (i.e. about $5 per hour) with no overtime or regular breaks. “This is a typical case of a restaurant hiring workers who are at a disadvantage and taking advantage of them by not paying them overtime or minimum wage,” Falliache told us. The class-action suit represents the grievances of fifteen workers who, should they win, probably won’t be celebrating with a ski vacation. Jose Zurita et. al vs. Aspen and Greg Brier [PDF]