Maggie Galehouse at the Houston Chronicle has posted her take on Battle Ownership, the Tycer vs. Gould controversy at Gravitas.
The story elaborates on the promises made, the SBA loan, and the attempted buyout.
Galehouse confirms the issue that we feel is at the heart of the controversy:
But Tycer felt low-balled. He said Gould's investors were "looking for someone frantic who wanted to be pulled out from underneath a boulder."
He counteroffered, and Gould's investors pulled out.
But as recently as July, he said, Tycer told him he still saw him as a partner.
That changed on Aug. 7 when Gould got a call from Tycer's wife. Annika Tycer, a management consultant who helps her husband with the business side of food, had been involved in the buyout negotiations. She told Gould that he was no longer considered a partner.
Something smells funny. If Tycer didn't want to be bought out, why did he enter into negotiations?
Here's the timeline as we see it:
Tycer negotiates with Gould.
Gould can't raise enough money in this economic climate.
Tycer feels lowballed, but still considers Gould a partner.
Then Tycer's wife comes in and tell him that he's not considered a partner.
Gould feels betrayed, and quits.
Maybe that's just business as usual in a Tycer establishment. But we think it stinks. Ethical firms don't promise a key employee equity and then yank it away because they get mad.
We stand by our position to avoid Tycer and his establishments; we can't support a restaurant with these sorts of business practices.