The phone is disconnected at Mike Isabella‘s French brasserie Requin in the Mosaic District, and the restaurant is no longer accepting reservations on OpenTable. One of Isabella’s employees tells Washingtonian that the restaurant closed Sunday. And an employee of the next door hotel also says it’s closed.
Asked if the restaurant is closed, however, Isabella’s PR team says in an email, “This is not true.” They did not respond to a request to elaborate.
All this comes amid sexual harassment allegations against Isabella and four of his business partners. Chloe Caras, the former director of operations for mega-food hall Isabella Eatery, recently filed a lawsuit against the restaurateur, accusing him of calling female employees “whores” and “bitches,” bragging about sexual exploits with prostitutes, unwanted touching, and using nondisclosure agreements to silence employees from speaking up about bad behavior. Isabella has denied wrongdoing, and a group of female employees have sent out a letter supporting him.
Requin’s first location in Fairfax initially opened in December 2015 as a temporary pop-up before a permanent home at the Wharf in Southwest DC was completed. Several months in, Isabella announced the Virginia outpost would remain. Top Chef alum Jen Carroll helmed the kitchen, then stepped into a corporate role before she split with the company in October. Chef Michael Rafidi, who ultimately led the kitchen at Requin at the Wharf, has also parted ways with Isabella as he plans to open his own restaurant. The more upscale DC location remains open.