Renowned pitmaster Myron Mixon has parted ways with his partners in Pride and Joy, a restaurant with a location in Miami and a yet-to-open one in New York, and Mixon has filed a lawsuit in the matter, sources close to Mixon have told The Daily Meal. Mixon is officially no longer involved with either restaurant.
Mixon, who has won countless barbecue challenges through his company Jack’s Old South and written several best-selling cookbooks, is also a judge on the popular show Barbecue Pitmasters. The original Miami location of Pride and Joy opened last November, and a second outpost has been slated to open in New York’s East Village, in the space last occupied by Lucky Cheng’s. Even though construction has been completed and a preview event was held in May, the restaurant’s fate has now been thrown into question.
According to the lawsuit (Myron Mixon and Jack’s Old South LLC against Pride & Joy LLC and Pablo Cardenas), which was filed on August 8th, Mixon is accusing his partners, Mike Saladino, Chris Mayer, Paul Thielecke, Jose Santa, and Pablo Cardenas, of trademark infringement, breach of contract, and misappropriation of name and likeness; it also alleges that they also owe Mixon a large sum of money in licensing fees for his name.
"Pride & Joy BBQ in Miami was initially something I was very excited about, and there have been few projects that I've looked forward to more than adding to the great barbecue in NYC. But, unfortunately, my partners just weren't committed to quality food, superior service and all of the other things that make a restaurant great. That's something I can't be a part of,” Mixon told us through a representative. “Worse, my partners seemed only interested in being associated with me to leverage my reputation without a real desire to do things the right way. I would just walk away (get my name far from what they're doing) but frankly, beyond serving bad barbecue, they've also knowingly cheated me, so we're unfortunately pursuing options to correct the wrongs that they've done and are doing in a court of law."
When reached for comment, partner Paul Thielecke told us that Pride & Joy LLC an Mixon are “just going in different directions, plain and simple,” and when asked if he’d like to offer his side of the story, he said “I’d prefer not to.”
Now that Mixon, his recipes, and his name are no longer involved with either establishment, the establishments' fates remain unknown. While the Miami location is going strong, the New York outpost has yet to open. If it does end up opening, however, Mixon’s name and recipes will be nowhere near it.
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.