Report: Pig & Khao’s Leah Cohen Files Lawsuit Against Co-Owners

It looks like big trouble for Pig & Khao, the year-old Southeast Asian restaurant at 68 Clinton St.

Pig & Khao, 68 Clinton Street. Photo by Zandy Mangold.

Pig & Khao, 68 Clinton Street. Photo by Zandy Mangold.

According to TMZ, chef and co-owner Leah Cohen is suing her partners, the management company behind the Fatty Crab empire, because the restaurant is in dire financial straits:

Leah filed the lawsuit against New York Restaurant Services Group — owned by famed restaurateur Rick Camac — claiming she signed a 50/50 business deal with it last year, agreeing to split ownership of her restaurant in exchange for its management services. Leah says NYRSG agreed to oversee Pig & Khao’s operations, including finances, development, marketing, advertising, training of staff, and a bunch of other management-related tasks — but ended up getting Pig & Khao into a heap of money troubles instead.  According to Leah, NYRSG failed to pay the restaurant’s suppliers, its staff, its landlord, and even the Tax Man — resulting in massive unpaid bills and frozen bank accounts — but still insisted on paying itself a 3% management fee.  Leah — who claims to have invested $400,000 in the business with her father —  says the restaurant owes the government $47,283, her landlord is threatening to throw her out, and she’s on the brink of losing everything.  She says the restaurant is “clearly failing,” and has been operating at a loss pretty much since it opened last fall. (For what it’s worth, Pig & Khao has stellar Yelp and Zagat reviews. So check it out.)  She is suing NYRSG for unspecified damages, and wants to terminate their business relationship ASAP. A rep for NYRSG had no comment.

UPDATED 9/20 Via Eater, here’s the response from Fatty Crew’s attorney:
We are disappointed that Ms. Cohen has released inaccurate information and is filing false allegations against Fatty Crew Hospitality Group. The claims are in retaliation to a termination of Ms. Cohen’s contract as the chef in July of 2013, but she was not removed pending a deal to buy out Mr. Camac’s 50 percent ownership interest. We will defend and controvert these claims before the Court as soon as our client is served. We expect Pig and Khao to continue operating, and are confident that all legal matters will be sufficiently resolved by the Court. We have no further comment until this matter is decided.