Hash Over

Fish stink

Former Fish chef Chris Svalesen says he was vexed to read in The Dallas Morning News that he was close to a consultancy agreement with Nick and John Natour, owners of The Enclave, to help them reopen Gershwin's. Though Svalesen confirms he chatted with the Natours about the prospect, he insists that he isn't working for them and that there is no firm plan to do so. He has his own restaurant to poach. But John Natour is hopeful. "We're still talking to him," he says. Yet it's hard to see why they need Svalesen. Natour says they plan to bring back close to 90 percent of the old Gershwin's staff, including the chefs, and will keep the restaurant's name and menu as it was. "The only thing that is different is that we're changing ownerships," adds Natour, who plans to have Gershwin's remodeled and reopened by May 1. When will Svalesen's seafood restaurant in the Bank One building sling its first fillet? Hard to say, though he insists it's still very much alive and flapping. Yet there is one little fishy snag. Steven Upright, Svalesen's partner in Fish before Svalesen resigned last June, slapped him with a lawsuit late last year, a move that could freeze Svalesen out of any of his shares in Fish -- shares that could come in handy right about now. Svalesen refused to comment on the lawsuit (Upright could not be reached for comment), but the suit claims Svalesen has no equity in the restaurant's parent company, Pescado Inc., because he never honored an agreement to purchase shares. According to the suit, Upright and Svalesen entered into an agreement in June 1996 whereby Upright would toss in $37,000 in exchange for 768 shares of Pescado stock, while Svalesen would contribute $11,000 for 230 shares. But, the suit alleges, Svalesen never made the cash contribution, so Upright canceled Svalesen's stock last August. Svalesen is apparently contesting the move, claiming he is entitled to the shares. Even when life seems little more than an upstream swim with a bunch of horny salmon, you still gotta watch out for the sharks.

Dragonfly dunk

The last quivering vestige of the Dragonfly (the Lower Greenville night nook that is now Milk Bar) has finally been exterminated. This past St. Patty's Day, state District Judge David Evans dismissed both Charlott Norman's damage suit against Steve Kahn, her onetime partner in the restaurant and bar, and his subsequent $5 million damage suit against her. Yet all is not squelched. Kahn still has a court date May 15 to resolve his arrest and charge for cocaine possession near Dragonfly premises New Year's Eve 1998 in what proved to be the nightclub bug's fatal flight.

Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at [email protected].

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz