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The Epicurean Group reportedly lays off all employees

Prominent Detroit restaurant group faces uncertain future

The Epicurean Group, thought to be the largest restaurant group in the Detroit area, sent layoff notices to employees on Sunday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The restaurant group includes Nomad Grill, No.VI Chophouse, the Soul Cafe and various catering brands.

The brand had recently expanded and was under new ownership.

In January, previous owner Stanley Dickson Jr. sold the company to operator and financial advisor Ryan Moore. Moore had previously purchased the Big Red Orchard in Washington Township in Detroit in the fall of 2018 for $2.45 million, according to Crain's Detroit.

Moore then combined operations with the Epicurean Group in early 2019. The orchard includes a 30-acre farm, and the restaurant group planned to introduce farm-to-table offerings from the orchard, according to DBusiness Magazine, a Detroit-based publication.

The Detroit Free press published an excerpt of the email sent to employees:

"Recent developments have forced the Epicurean Group, Epic Holdings Inc. and all its entities and affiliates … to make some very difficult decisions with respect to its business.

"Regretfully, the purpose of this communication is to inform you that the Restaurant will be transitioning management back to Stan Dickson and The Best Team Ever and that your at-will employment with the restaurant is being terminated at the end of the day July 20, 2019."

Dickson told the Detroit Free Press that he had an option to acquire a significant portion of the restaurant group back from Moore but declined the offer. Instead, Moore walked away from the business after laying off all the employees.

Dickson also told the newspaper he had negotiated with other companies to transition the restaurant various properties and minimize the loss of jobs. And it seems that some restaurants formally run by The Epicurean Group are still open. As of Tuesday, Restaurant Hospitality was able to confirm that Nomad Grill and the Soul Café at least remained opened.

Restaurant Hospitality reached out to The Epicurean Group for comment but has yet to receive a response.

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

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