Julian Niccolini in 2014. (Lev Radin / Shutterstock)
The face of the renowned 4 Seasons restaurant has been forced to resign following unspecified allegations of misconduct. Julian Niccolini, who in 2016 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after being accused of sexually assaulting a female patron at the restaurant’s bar, used to be dismissed from the considerably-honest currently reopened restaurant the day earlier than nowadays. The 4 Seasons had this to train in a press liberate:
“It had been hoped that Mr. Niccolini would fulfill the agreement he made in 2016 to head looking out encourage and change his behavior throughout the 4 Seasons’ two-365 days hiatus whereas the current restaurant used to be below construction. In the quick timeframe for the explanation that restaurant had reopened, it had change into sure that he had now not honored that commitment.
“Rising a warm and respectful surroundings for team and patrons alike is central to the phenomenal gentle eating expertise for which the 4 Seasons has come to be known.”
Niccolini, who grew to change into a co-owner of the 4 Seasons within the early ’70s, used to be nasty for his flirtatious behavior within the restaurant, earning him the sobriquet ‘Prankish Niccolini.’ Eater known as him “notoriously handsy.” The 65-365 days-broken-down restaurateur used to be the discipline of a lot of sexual harassment allegations, leading to at the least two court docket cases from female employees being settled out of court docket. In a 1991 lawsuit, a female server accused Niccolini of rubbing up in opposition to her and calling her crude, degrading names. 4 years within the past, a frail assistant manager accused the restaurant of firing her without map off after she returned from maternity leave.
In the 2015-2016 prison case, Niccolini used to be accused of assaulting a 28-365 days-broken-down girl whom he tried to kiss within the bar of the 4 Seasons, “touching her legs and buttocks and pulling her in direction of him…then reached via an opening within the encourage of her robe and tugged on her bra unless it ripped, touched her breasts, yanked up her robe and tried to tug down her stockings,” per a prison criticism. Niccolini pleaded down from a felony assault charge to a misdemeanor, avoiding detention center time with a “conditional discharge.”
The 4 Seasons used to be forced to relocate all the intention via Park Avenue after its rent within the Seagram Building ran out within the summertime of 2016, and the restaurant reopened four months within the past with Niccolini and co-owner Alex von Bidder encourage at the helm.
In reviewing the current deliver for the Events earlier this month, Pete Wells demoted the restaurant down to 1 superstar, writing positively of the meals nevertheless deciding that “ingesting locations, even agreeable ones just like the 4 Seasons, are intimate locations; ingesting is an act that requires belief and a technique of security. We deserve to ranking up from the table feeling restored on all fronts aside from the monetary one. Mr. Niccolini’s actions admire carried out serious hurt to his vitality to give that feeling, whilst he and Mr. von Bidder admire made the restaurant better than it has been in years.”
A 4 Seasons spokesperson denied that the NY Events evaluate used to be a component in Niccolini’s resignation. Sources show the NY Post that von Bidder used to be “the motive force” tiresome Niccolini’s ouster. Neither von Bidder or Niccolini admire commented on his removal.
Niccolini’s termination is simplest the most trendy instance of sexual misconduct intelligent a extremely effective man within the restaurant change, which has lengthy been littered with this form of abuse. As of Would possibly possibly well honest, superstar chef Mario Batali used to be below investigation by the NYPD for alleged sexual assault, and disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman (The Spotted Pig) has been below investigation by the NY Lawyer General’s set up of residing of enterprise for allegedly fostering a collection up of residing of enterprise culture of sexual harassment and discrimination.