Mike Isabella has terminated his relationship with Mexican restaurant Bandolero. The Washington Post first reported the story. Isabella's publicist sent this statement to Eater:
"I am no longer part of Bandolero. I own all my other restaurant concepts and with the opening of G Grab and Go, Kapnos and G this year, it's time for me to focus on those concepts. I am very proud of the modern Mexican concept my team and I put together, but it's not 100% my restaurant and it's time for me to focus on the restaurants where I have full operational control."
Talk of a separation has been brewing for some time. The chef altered his management agreement back in April. He told WaPo the decision was not related to lawsuits between owner Jonathan Umbel and his landlord.
Update: Eater checked in with Bandolero owner Jonathan Umbel about the changes. He couldn't say much about the departure due to a confidentiality agreement, but said, "We wish the best for Mike and his future endeavors. We're growing and excited about the restaurant in Georgetown."
Tony Starr has been promoted to executive chef. He has been overseeing the cooking at Bandolero for the past year and previously worked for Zaytinya. No major menu changes are planned at this time. "We're just working to improve the restaurant by giving the guest the best experience we can muster. Our team is stronger than ever, and we have some really enthusiastic tequila aficionados behind the bar," Umbel said. The restaurant will continue to emphasize its tequila program, he said.
· Mike Isabella Formally Pulls Out of Bandolero [-WaPo-]
· All Previous Bandolero Coverage [-EDC-]
· All Previous Mike Isabella Coverage [-EDC-]