The space that was originally planned to house a restaurant from Geoffrey Zakarian in The Trump Hotel in D.C. will not be filled by another restaurant.
Donald Trump appeared in D.C. court back in June to testify in a deposition that arose from a legal dispute between the chef and the hotel company. Zakarian, along with chef José Andrés, pulled out of the Trump project after the mogul and presidential candidate made controversial statements about Mexican immigrants. Both chefs were sued by Trump, and filed countersuits against him.
Politico first obtained transcripts of the recent deposition. In them, Trump says the restaurant space will be replaced by a "very large conference room," claiming there wasn't time to fill the space with a new restaurant concept after the chef pulled out.
BLT Prime is filling the specific vacancy left by Andrés, according to the deposition. That restaurant is being helmed by chef David Burke. The hotel also has plans for a high-end lobby lounge called Opo. Washingtonian reports that at one point (before Zakarian), Jean-Georges Vongerichten was also in talks for the space.
In the deposition, Trump says the exiting chefs were "grandstanding," and therefore caused him damages. In the deposition, Trump claims patrons of all political stripes would want to visit any restaurants in the hotel, claiming the city doesn't have a lot of great options. "There aren't that many in Washington, believe me. There aren't that many in Washington, as you know," he said.
According to Politico, video of the deposition is expected to be made public. The Trump Hotel in D.C. is expected to open in September in the Old Post Office Building.