There was much excitement over the resurfacing of Chef Eric "Big E" Austin when the Bourbon Street Steak House was unveiled. In the past, the former owner of Big E's Soul Food had enjoyed a nice foodie following until legal issues got in the way. There were arrests, and Soul Food was closed.
Could bad luck strike twice? It seems that Big E has left the stockyards building, not of his own accord. On the Bourbon Street website, there's a letter from Big E announcing his split from the owner, Richard Defoe. He states that he is being replaced by people he can't endorse, people who don't have the caliber to take on his menu. On his own blog, Big E rails against the owner for stealing his work and cutting him out of the profits now that Austin had built a successful restaurant on his own back.
What happened? Was it due to the chef's temperament, pointed to by prior trouble with the law and another failed restaurant? Or was it the shiftiness of the owner, who kicked out the former tenants (TreVina) just as they were starting to get attention? The former owners of that Italian restaurant are servers at Salut in St. Paul and will happily supply invective and diatribe about their old landlord.
The biggest question, what will happen to the Bourbon Street Steak House? Will you go now knowing that Big E isn't behind the stove?