Long overdue Belgian restaurant Florentijn now appears to have hit a major roadblock in its path to opening at the Wharf. A summons posted outside the multi-faceted eatery former Belgian Embassy chef turned aspiring restaurateur Jan Van Haute had been trying to pull together since last fall suggests he may no longer be welcome at the restaurant-packed Southwest waterfront.
“You are being sued for possession of the premises you occupy,” reads the legal document tacked to the front door of the establishment. “This paper is a summons in a lawsuit seeking your eviction.”
The summons identifies the plaintiff as “Wharf Phase 2 Parcel 5 Retail REIT Leaseholder LLC,” an entity represented in this case by attorney Leon Koutsouftikis of Magruder Cook & Koutsouftikis in Reston, Virginia. The suit was filed in Superior Court of the District of Columbia. A hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, April 30 in the Civil Division, Landlord and Tenant Branch.
Eater reached out to the Wharf developers, Van Haute, and Koutsouftikis for comment about the legal challenge but has not yet heard back from any of the parties involved.
But other signs within the Wharf seem to indicate Van Haute is in trouble. The satellite Florentijn Wafelhuis Van Haute’s team had been operating at the entrance to District Pier has since been stripped of any signage and is empty inside.
Several Wharf restaurants took longer than projected to join the evolving dining scene, including recent arrivals Mi Vida and Kaliwa. Others have yet to materialize, including La Vie, Lupo Marino, and Cantina Bambina. If Florentijn is forcibly removed, it will become the first of the Wharf restaurants to fizzle out without having served a single customer.
Eater will continue following this story and update it as new information becomes available.
- The Most Anticipated Restaurants in D.C., Spring 2018 [EDC]
- 3 More Wharf Restaurants Are Now Coming in March [EDC]
- New Bars Keep Springing Up at the Wharf [EDC]
- Where to Eat During the Wharf’s Grand Opening [EDC]
- 5 Wharf Properties Now Projected to Miss Opening Weekend [EDC]
- The Wharf: A Guide to All the Restaurants, Bars, and Clubs [EDC]
- Embassy Chef Jan Van Haute on D.C.’s Belgian Dining Scene [EDC]