Hospitality managers at Nationals Park maintain that the two of the three restaurants Top Chef alum Mike Isabella had at the stadium were getting cut even before he got sued for sexual harassment, billing recently removed Kapnos and Catchfly as “very specialty and niche concepts.”
The local restaurateur lent his name to three concession stands at Nats Park in 2017: a modified version of his Greek restaurant Kapnos (Section 301), barbecue venture Catchfly (Section 301), and gourmet sub stand G Sandwich (Section 136). Following allegations of sexual harassment from former Isabella Eatery manager Chloe Caras, the Nationals issued a statement to the Washington Post saying that they were severing ties with Isabella and pulling his restaurants from the concessions lineup. Isabella has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Old Hickory BBQ, a restaurant the Nationals introduced last year inside the Norfolk Southern Club (Section 210), and house grill Change-Up Chicken (Sections 110 and 129), have been moved into the spaces formerly occupied by Kapnos and Catchfly. Jonathan Stahl, vice president of ballpark operations and guest experience for the Nationals, told reporters March 26 that the team had previously planned to raise Old Hickory BBQ’s profile this season.
“This has been slated to go up in 301 since a while ago,” he says, adding that fan feedback showed that interest in Kapnos and Catchfly was waning. Stahl declined to elaborate on the new eatery projected to take over the G Sandwich spot between now and opening day (Thursday, April 5), but suggested that it will be a collaborative effort between ballpark staff and at least one local chef.
Nationals personnel also threw cold water on Isabella’s hopes of returning to Nats Park “once the full story has been told.”
“We have a zero tolerance policy,” Stahl says.
- Star Chef at Arroz and Requin Resigns From Mike Isabella’s Restaurant Group [EDC]
- Washington Nationals Strip Mike Isabella’s Eateries From Nats Park Amidst Sexual Harassment Suit [EDC]
- Alleged Sexual Harasser Mike Isabella Is Already Losing Supporters [EDC]
- Isabella Eatery Manager Sues Mike Isabella for Sexual Harassment [EDC]