Tosca Cafe will lose both its chef and business manager by June 1, reportedly as a result of the sexual-harassment allegations against owner Ken Friedman. Chef Josh Even and business manager Dana Katzakian’s mutual decision comes after their failed attempt to buy the restaurant from Friedman and April Bloomfield.
Even tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he and Katzakian tried to purchase the restaurant after the allegations against Friedman first were reported last year, but that negotiations dragged on and it “became too much for us.” He says that they felt they would “make a real change” and wanted to “save Tosca from the mess Ken created.”
Even and Katzakian both started working at the historic restaurant in 2013, when it reopened under Bloomfield, and Even started as a line cook for the Spotted Pig in 2006. That New York restaurant is where most of the sexual-harassment allegations against Friedman are said to have taken place, and staff called its third floor room the “rape room.”
In a 60 Minutes report that aired on Sunday and included new allegations of harassment against Friedman, Bloomfield said she’s working on a split with Friedman. As in the initial report about Friedman, employees who spoke with 60 Minutes’ Anderson Cooper were critical of how she handled — or didn’t — Friedman’s behavior. After sharing her own story of harassment, one former employee told Cooper, “I know other people went to April, and she did nothing to make them feel safe.”