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Levine & Shah Battle Over Sons of Essex, ‘Bodega

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Matt Levine outside Sons of Essex.
Matt Levine outside Sons of Essex.

Yesterday, nightlife operator Matt Levine told Eater that one of his establishments, Cocktail Bodega at 205 Chrystie St., would be closed for an extended period due to “building issues,” which he said were related to plumbing problems.  Then a few hours later, Eater posted an update, including a statement from a rep for Levine’s partner, Michael Shah.

“IndieFork Hospitality has parted ways with Matt Levine effective immediately,” the statement read. “We are grateful for all Matt has done for us, and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”  The company also operates Sons of Essex, which the duo opened at 133 Essex St. in 2011.  The plan is, apparently, to reopen Cocktail Bodega “with a brand new concept.”

In response, Levine told Eater: “Sons of Essex is an extremely successful brand that I created and built, there are creative differences between hospitality vision and real estate plays on the other properties, it’s far from the truth that I am no longer involved, but I can say, our lawyers are handling the rest.”  Shah owns the buildings in which both Sons of Essex and Cocktail Bodega operate and is a major real estate investor throughout Manhattan. Earlier this month, Sons of Essex’ executive chef, Seth Levine, departed the company.

Matt Levine, a prolific social media guy, was not keeping a low profile last night.  See below:

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