Like many of the celebrities who have eaten here, Miami River hot spot Seasalt & Pepper thrives on controversy. Without it, it may have just been your average Miami seafood spot. And while there have been issues in the past with dress code and infighting, the restaurant’s troubles have tripled in the form of three new lawsuits:
1. Employee Class Action Lawsuit filed by ex employee Jorge Gutierrez “to recover unpaid overtime wages, an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, obtain declatory relief, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.”
2. City of Miami violations: “1802-Work Performed Without a Permit.” “1510–No Certificate of Use,” “1511–Failure to Obtain a valid certificate of use for the type of business being conducted.” The restaurant is “directed to correct said violation(s) by August 11, 2014 and to notify the Inspector that the violation(s) has been corrected.” If not, they’re in trouble. “Unpaid fines will become liens against this property and all proprties you own . . In addition, the Certificate of Use and Occupational License of any business occupying this property may be suspended or withheld”
3. Name Infringement Patent Violation: Naples’ hot spot SEA SALT is looking for an emergency injunction to have Sesalt’s name dropped from its operation. SEA SALT owner Nane Jan “respectfully moves for entry of a preliminary injunction enjoining defendant Seasalt and Pepper, LLC from further use of Nane Jan’s SEA SALT trademark.”
Yikes. While the aforementioned are entered into courts of law, some of the restaurant’s critics also wonder how the State of Florida has issued an alcohol license for co-owner Carlos Miranda, who, in 2005 was charged in Miami-Dade County with one count of possession of cannabis and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
We have contacted the restaurant’s and Miranda’s attorney Robert Zarco at Zarco Law for comment, but in the meantime, those who haven’t yet eaten at Seasalt who want to may want to do it fast.