Monday, March 05, 2007

Tempest in a Teapot: Brizzi Out at Harry and Izzy's

I thought I'd let the news, lawyerly rulings, and general chaos die down a bit over Carl Brizzi's investment at the Harry and Izzy's before commenting. For those who don't know yet, Harry and Izzy's is the new venture from the Steve and Craig Huse of St. Elmo's steakhouse due to open next month in the Nordstrom wing of the Circle Center Mall. (It's on the corner where the Colts pro shop used to be along that cute little wine shop and restaurant with the name I can't remember.)

The tempest? Brizzi was listed as a 10% investor in the St. Elmo's spin-off, due to open next month. (His steak, oops, stake, was $80,000. The Huses own 70% reports the Star.) While preparing for a liquor board hearing (which should take place today), lawyers discovered a problem. Law enforcement officers are prohibited from having a financial interest in an establishment that serves alcohol. And as prosecutor, Brizzi is considered a law enforcement officer.

Legal wrangling has commenced over whether or not Brizzi can hold his investment if his name isn't on the company directly or the liquor license. However, he's done the right thing in disentangling himself from it and selling his shares back to the LLC.

The law is a sound one. Regardless of the name on the liquor license, who wants police officers to have a conflict of interest if they can co-own bars? But for Brizzi, it's an embarrassing first foray into restaurant investing, and too bad, too. Most people who know how risky restaurants can be would say he was saved from himself, and with any other establishment that would definitely be the case. However, I suspect Harry and Izzy's will be a very safe bet. The Huses know what they're doing and my prediction is their newest downtown eatery will be a sure-fire hit. There will probably be a line of people who want to buy Brizzi's 10%.


Anonymous said...

The wine shop/restaurant was Tarkington's. Good food, but the sandwiches and other lunch items were a bit expensive.

braingirl said...

Yes! Tarkington's. Thank you!