A Washington, D.C., Restaurant Is Suing the Trump Hotel for ‘Unfair Advantage’
In the days leading up to and since Election Day, Donald Trump has faced multiple lawsuits. The latest legal scuffle comes from Cork Wine Bar, which is suing the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., for unfair competition. The owners of the Cork Wine Bar, Khalid Pitts and Diane Gross, complain in a lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court that not only does the Trump Hotel now have an unfair advantage in attracting tourists, but it has become a meeting hotspot for White House guests, advisers, and politicians as well, according to The Washington Post.
Cork Wine Bar — which is a 12-minute drive from the newly opened hotel — is not seeking financial compensation. Rather, the lawsuit demands that the court order the hotel and restaurants to be closed during the remainder of the Trump presidency.
“The effects of that unfair advantage are magnified greatly by marketing activities of the hotel’s officers and employees and the similar activities of defendant Trump, his family, and the White House staff and/or advisors,” the lawsuit reads.
Although the president has taken some steps to distance himself from his businesses — sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are now in charge of the hotel in question, for instance — he encourages his advisers and constituents to dine at BLT Prime, the steakhouse in the hotel.
“We have events we do here for elected officials, nonprofits, foreign dignitaries, the World Bank, law firms,” Diane Gross told The Washington Post. “Those folks are now being courted to come and want to go there because they see it as advantageous to them to curry favor with the president.”
This is not the only lawsuit filed in the name of Trump’s D.C. hotel. Last year, both Geoffrey Zakarian and José Andrés were sued (and both countersued) after pulling out of their respective restaurant contracts with the hotel.