A Dallas County district judge slapped longtime Dallas nightclub operator Steve Kahn with a temporary injunction late last week, essentially removing him as head of the Dragonfly Bar & Restaurant on Lower Greenville Avenue. The ruling follows months of legal wrangling between Kahn and Dragonfly's limited partners, led by investor Charlott Norman.
Norman attempted to oust Kahn as general partner of the hot nightspot in late September, accusing him of financial and operational misconduct that included collecting kickbacks from a contractor who she claims over billed the partnership. Kahn denied the allegations, refused to give up his position, and challenged the legitimacy of the partner vote ejecting him, saying it violated terms of the partnership agreement. The judged swatted away Kahn's objections, handing Norman Dragonfly's reins.
Opened in August, Dragonfly was shuttered in January, after racking up more than $1.1 million in sales, when one of its partners surrendered Dragonfly's liquor license to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The move followed Kahn's arrest at the Dragonfly on charges of cocaine possession New Year's Eve.
Lulu's Bait Shack owners Jeff and Todd Levine say they have had enough of Dallas and its bungling bureaucrats. After two years of fighting over parking issues, the operators of the tiny Atlanta-based seafood chain are pulling out of their McKinney Avenue location permanently and planning to file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the city.
Trouble began just after the restaurant opened three years ago when a Dallas official noticed that the city had been issuing certificates of occupancy for the location in error since 1974. It suddenly dawned on the city that, even though the location had been home to several restaurants over the past two decades, it didn't have enough parking spaces for a restaurant/bar of its size, according to city regulations. So they yanked Lulu's certificate, and the Levines have been filing appeals and fighting for parking variances ever since.
The fatal blow fell last November when state regulators denied them a liquor license renewal without a certificate of occupancy from the city. The Levines were granted a catering license under which they had hoped to operate and sell alcohol until an appeal hearing in June. But after 30 days, the state denied an extension on that too. "[The city] just felt that, even though they had erred for the last 20 years, it's not a precedent, and it doesn't matter," Todd Levine says. "They let us open up and spend a million dollars, and it just doesn't matter."
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