Yes, the restaurant business is difficult. Maintaining one’s sanity can be tough during those soul-sucking nights spent hunched gnome-like over a hot stove or pampering ill-behaved patrons. But it doesn’t help when your own dad is the enemy!
The Globe reports on the family battle roiling at cougar den Abe & Louie’s, in the process of being sold by ailing Back Bay Restaurant Group/Wonderland racetrack baron Charlie Sarkis to Tavistock Restaurants. The sale is apparently partially complicated by the refusal of Sarkis’s kids, who are also his colleagues, to sign a non-compete.
It seems the elder Sarkis, who suffers from brain cancer, is messily extracting his children from the empire one by one for failing to comply. He’s eager to complete the Tavistock sale because he’s in “pressing debt related to his Wonderland track,” the paper reports. In turn, his progeny are threatening to branch out on their own and open separate restaurants.
Per the Globe, “at least two of Sarkis’s six children are planning to open their own rival restaurants in Boston.” Abe & Louie’s was once one of the area’s highest-grossing restaurants; the Sarkis tribe also operates the Papa Razzi and Joe’s American chains.
Unfortunately, Papa Sarkis isn’t doing so well. The Globe reveals leaked voice mails in which he harshly attempts to oust his kids from the business, spotlights soap-opera-ish relationships involving the children and Sarkis’s second wife, and offers up a medley of sour quotes from the spurned Sarkis spawn.
Most likely, Abe & Louie’s will continue to chug along outwardly unfettered; as for the younger Sarkis generation, though, the betrayal is surely tough to swallow. And yet anger is also a strong motivator: We’re wondering how and when they’ll strike back.