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Bar Veloce Gets New Neon, Preps for Court Showdown

New Bar Veloce signageDaniel Maurer New signage at Bar Veloce.

Those flyers calling for a boycott of Bar Veloce have disappeared from the neighborhood – and the wine bar got a spiffy new sign today  – but rest assured there’s drama on the horizon: the bar on Second Avenue is gearing up for a courtroom fight with the disgruntled ex-employees who sued it in April 2011. A series of court filings made as recently as yesterday reveal that both parties will go to trial before a federal judge on November 5.

You’ll recall the twists and turns of the case: three employees sued Bar Veloce for unpaid wages and labor violations. In February, Frederick Twomey, the owner of the bar, filed a countersuit alleging that one of the plaintiffs, ex-employee John Sawyer Preston, defamed him and damaged his business by posting flyers urging customers to avoid Bar Veloce and other restaurants he owned. In turn, Mr. Preston filed a counter-counter suit alleging that the defamation suit amounted to unlawful retaliation in response to the original claim of backwages.

But now a layer of litigation has been peeled away: late last month Mr. Twomey filed a motion to withdraw his defamation suit (a hearing regarding that case is scheduled for Thursday) and yesterday, Mr. Preston withdrew his counter-counter suit as part of an agreement that paves the way for November’s trial. Read more…

Disgruntled Ex-Employee of Bar Veloce Not Letting Up

photo(5)Daniel Maurer The flyer, spotted on Second Avenue.

Flyers lambasting the owner of Bar Veloce have once again appeared in the neighborhood on First and Second Avenues — and this time the disgruntled ex-employee behind them cites the restaurateur’s other businesses as well.

“Beware East Village: Porsena, Porchetta, and Ugly Kitchen Restaurants’ Owner is suspected of Unlawful Practices at Various Locations!” the flyer reads. The owner in question, of course, is Frederick Twomey, who was the subject of a flyer campaign in January that alleged that he underpaid workers at Bar Veloce on Second Avenue. That led Mr. Twomey to counter-sue the former employee, John Sawyer Preston, alleging that “customers have been driven away, potential investors lost, and employees unnecessarily upset and confused” because of the campaign. Read more…