You may not know Kevin Kelley by name, but you definitely know him by his short-sleeve turtleneck (or gaiter—debate and controversy follow this man around, apparently!). The man who became notorious across the internet for his staunch anti-twerking stance and not-so-latent misogynoir, Kevin Kelley is no longer affiliated with one of his restaurants, Taste Bar and Kitchen in Houston.
Now, it may be tempting to file this under “life comes at you fast,” but apparently Kelley and Taste chef and owner Don Bowie have been on the outs for some time. And if you want to get an indication of just how messy all this is—yes, lawyers are involved.
According to Eater, Bowie and Kelley parted ways at some point this fall, and each party is currently suing the other in “a pair of highly dramatic lawsuits” in Harris County.
In his lawsuit, Kelley claims that Bowie was responsible for inappropriately taking out Payroll Protection Program loans in the restaurant’s name without Kelley’s permission, along with a host of other alleged financial misdeeds. Meanwhile, Bowie alleges that Kelley tanked a deal Bowie had with an investor by saying that the chef “wouldn’t stop stealing.”
Bowie also claims that Kelley cut him out of a deal at True Kitchen and Kocktails in Dallas, where Kelley’s viral rant was filmed. Bowie alleges that Kelley stole a number of recipes being used at the Dallas restaurant, including his popular chicken and waffles dish.
Kelley caused a stir this week after a video of him berating Black female customers at True Kitchen went viral on social media this week. Incensed that people were dancing on the furniture, Kelley told his patrons, “all this twerking shit, don’t bring it here because we’re a restaurant.”
“If you wanna do it, get the fuck out my restaurant,” Kelley continued. While acknowledging that his client base was “75 percent ladies,” Kelley suggested that he couldn’t expect men to “respect” the women at his establishment if they were twerking.
Meanwhile, people at the restaurant took to social media with additional context about the incident, saying that they had been waiting “hours” for food orders, while alcohol-heavy drinks were being served up left and right (I mean, no matter how much booze was involved, there’s still a pandemic outside, which is the fact I can’t get past).
In his rant, Kelley insisted that he didn’t need his patrons’ money. Between his estranged business partner and disrespected customers, we may soon find out how true that statement is.