LAS VEGAS — Mario Batali's three Las Vegas Strip restaurants will shut down July 27, officials said Friday, as the embattled celebrity chef faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.
Fellow chef and Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group partner Joe Bastianich sent a letter to nearly 300 workers about the closures of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts. He promised to visit the restaurants to speak to employees.
The letter said Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns both properties, was ending the business relationship. Sands Corp. issued a statement confirming the closure.
The move came days after police in New York confirmed an investigation into a woman's claim onthat Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. Batali denies assaulting the woman.
A Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group representative said the company decided to close the Las Vegas restaurants before the "60 Minutes" report aired, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which is owned by the family of Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.
Batali stepped down in December from daily operations at his restaurant empire and cooking show "The Chew" after four women accused him of inappropriate touching over a period of 20 years.
Batali has apologized for those encounters, admitting to "deeply inappropriate" actions with women .
After "60 Minutes" aired the interviews with alleged victims this month, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group called the women's accounts "chilling and deeply disturbing," and said it was severing all ties with him.
"This was the first we learned" of the women's accounts, B&B Hospitality Group said in a May 20 statement. "Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending. We have been actively negotiating with Mr. Batali to buy his interests in the restaurants, and he and Joe Bastianich have signed a letter of intent that sets forth the broad terms to do so. We expect to have the final terms set by July 1, and that Nancy Silverton, Lidia Bastianich, Mr. Bastianich, and other current investors will participate in the acquisition."