Despite its elegant appearance it seems there's a lot of drama behind the scenes at year-old restaurant Betony. A lawsuit has been filed in Brooklyn by a former private events manager for the Midtown eatery alleging that general manager Eamon Rockey displayed some very un-managerial behavior with multiple employees. And then there's the Putin angle—but we'll get to that.
Maryanne Storms, who's been employed at the eatery since December of last year, says she was promised a $35,000 per year salary for her work on top of a 2.5% commission on any events held at the restaurant. Storms says she was cheated out of her promised earnings and when she complained, Rockey "engag[ed] in threatening and abusive conduct." Storms also says Rockey once grabbed her arm and tried to force her into a locker room, though she was able to get away.
Rockey allegedly "assaulted his pastry chef and threatened several employees," according to court documents. There are further claims that a waitress was rushed to the emergency room after Rockey—or someone acting on his orders—put fish sauce inside the waitress's sloppy joe during a family meal, knowing that she was allergic to seafood. If true, that's some Mrs. Doubtfire-level insanity.
But perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the lawsuit lies in Ms. Storms allegations about owner Andrey Dellos, the defendant in the suit. Dellos's company, Maison Dellos Group, also counts Arkady Novikov as a member—Storms says he's part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's "inner circle." The company "sought to infiltrate New York City with its first high-end restaurant," the now defunct Brasserie Pushkin, which was the restaurant that operated in the same space previous to Betony's opening. It's just so easy to blame Putin.
Storms seeks "unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress" in her suit. A Betony rep did not immediately respond to our request for comment.