After people noticed last week that Todd English's Olives in City Square was closed, the jetsetting celebrichef with Boston roots issued a press release promising an all new Olives at a "new and shiny" location, one better suited for the times than dowdy old City Square, even if he had only opened a new and shiny Olives there last year:
Charlestown is and will always have a special place in my heart. It is with sadness that I will be leaving this neighborhood. We have been here since 1989 and so many wonderful memories are tied to this place. But with the incredible way America's culinary landscape has been evolving, I have decided that Olives - my first and signature restaurant - must also evolve.
What English forgot to mention in his wistful press release was that he had no choice in the closing of Olives - his landlord closed it for him, after convincing a judge last fall to let him seize the restaurant and all its belongings, including its valuable liquor license. Seems English owes a bit of back rent - some $780,000 in rent and interest dating to 2010.
Meanwhile, English faces similar problems across the harbor, where the operators of Faneuil Hall Marketplace got their own court order just last month to attach not only the liquor license of his failed Kingfish Hall but assets of his holding companies, in a lawsuit in which the marketplace now charges English with running a fraudulent financial shell game to suck assets out of the restaurant to avoid paying them.