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Mike Isabella’s First Restaurant, Graffiato, Is Closed

The restaurant allegedly owes back rent

Graffiato
Graffiato just served its last glass of wine in Chinatown.
Graffiato/official photo

Mike Isabella’s seven-year-old flagship restaurant Graffiato has shut off its lights for good, marking the latest piece of bad news for the troubled Top Chef alum.

A source inside the restaurant group told Eater that Italian-inspired Graffiato is “indeed closed.” A Popville tipster noted the 130-seat restaurant was locked on Tuesday night during dinner service hours, with no explanation posted on the door.

Rent-related woes surfaced last week, with Douglas Development suing for more than $28,000 in alleged unpaid rent and other fees, reported Washingtonian. Its location at 707 6th Street NW is currently listed for lease. Isabella was also accused of not keeping up with bills at another location last month, with the landlord of his now-defunct Mosaic District restaurant Requin Brasserie alleging he hasn’t paid a dime of rent since 2015.

In May the embattled restaurateur settled the lawsuit against his restaurant group which alleged that Isabella and and other company leaders sexually harassed Chloe Caras, a former employee. Last month, Isabella announced he was selling his Richmond branch of Graffiato to “focus on things closer to home.”

Before Isabella’s downward spiral started this year, he announced plans to head back behind the burners to revitalize his debut D.C. restaurant.

Graffiato experienced heavy tourist traffic over the years for its pizzas and happy hour specials.

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