Ken Friedman May Be Involved in LA Restaurant Horses – Robb Report

0

One of LA’s busiest restaurants is currently buzzing for a not-so-good reason: The owners of Horses appear to have been involved — and may still be involved — with disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman.

In a new report from Eater LA, Horses’ Liz Johnson, Will Aghajanian and Stephen Light acknowledge that Friedman helped with the restaurant in its early days, but say he has no current connection to the place. Friedman, however, says he is a profit-sharing owner of the perpetually crowded restaurant that has achieved national fame, including a spot on Robb Report2022 ranking of the 10 best new restaurants in America.

“I own 20% of Horses,” he told Eater. “It no longer has any meaning for me to say that I am not [an owner] … People know, the word is out. Why should I hide it?

Going back a bit, Friedman made a name for himself opening up hip restaurants like The Spotted Pig in New York City, leading to a massive hotel empire with restaurants across the country. In 2017, amid the #MeToo movement, several women accused him of sexual harassment and he eventually admitted to engaging in inappropriate and sexualized behavior at work. Soon after, his restaurants began to close or he was forced out of management. Eventually, Friedman’s ordeal resulted in him settling in with former Spotted Pig employees for $240,000 and the restaurant closing soon after, in early 2020.

Ken Friedman with Anthony Bourdain in 2016

Paul Zimmermann/Getty

Less than a year later, it’s Horses. Apparently Friedman helped the team behind the restaurant secure the initial space lease in September 2020. After Horses opened in September 2021, he kept in touch with Johnson, Aghajanian, and Light, and Eater reviewed and published text messages between Friedman and Light in which profit sharing was discussed.

In response to those posts, a rep for Light told Eater, “Ken has never been or had any official involvement with Horses. He is not listed on any signed documents, has never benefited financially from the restaurant and will never benefit financially from Horses at any time. Ken was involved in the very first Horses conversations, but his behavior became extremely inappropriate and we have cut all ties. (Light would not elaborate on the alleged conduct of Friedman.)

In a statement to Robb Report, Johnson said: “I speak on behalf of all my partners when I say that Ken Friedman has never received or will ever receive compensation or benefits of any kind from the companies of which we are a part. . All the talks you’ve been made aware of are just that – talks, nothing more, nothing concrete. He is not a partner, sponsor, investor, consultant, or someone I would consider a friend. He is, however, someone who lived up to his reputation and for that Will, Stephen and I removed him from our lives.

For his part, Friedman denied to Eater that anything inappropriate had happened between him and the Horses team, and said he thought he had a positive relationship with Light and Johnson before seeing Light’s statement to Eater.

With Horses already booked a month in advance when the Eater story drops, it may take some time to see if the revelations have any impact on the hottest restaurant to open in Los Angeles in some time. .

Share.

Comments are closed.