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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…