Taste Kitchen and Bar closed: Chef Don Bowie has been sentenced in court; strangers stunned Midtown hotspot closed

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — A court settlement will prevent chef Don Bowie and his team from removing any equipment from his now closed steakhouse.

Lawyers representing Bowie’s investors in the Washington Avenue restaurant suitwhich includes singer Akon and Houston Texans great Andre Johnson, filed a motion on Friday.

In it, they said the restaurant closed abruptly on Sunday and the restaurant’s account was $270,000 in the red. They said the money was seized by the state comptroller’s office.

The state agency told ABC13 Rare Steakhouse owed about $140,000 in unpaid taxes. Bowie’s other restaurant, Taste Bar and Kitchen in Midtown, owes $206,000.

SEE MORE: Midtown bar’s tax debt rises to $206,000 as closure details emerge

Plaintiff’s attorneys said the only thing Rare is worth anything about now is equipment and facilities.

They cited a report made by ABC13 earlier this week in the court filing that equipment was being moved from Taste’s location at 3015 Bagby to a new location in downtown Houston.

In the end, the two attorneys agreed that the equipment could not be moved from Rare Steakhouse.

On Friday, the state comptroller’s office was at the Taste site alongside a company that salvaged 12 pieces of their equipment that were rented by the restaurant.

This location was seized on Tuesday by the office of the comptroller for unpaid taxes.

SEE MORE: Popular restaurant hit with foreclosure notice amid unpaid tax claims

At 1 a.m. Monday, surveillance video captured people loading supplies into a U-Haul truck outside Taste.

ABC13 also found a location at 314 Gray Street that Bowie has permits for. A sign posted on the door indicated that he was locked out for non-payment of rent and other expenses provided for in the lease. It is unclear what was planned for this place.

We reached out to Bowie for comment, and he told ABC13 he wasn’t interested in hearing the truth and declined to do an interview.

Asked if he disputes the more than $200,000 the Comptroller claims is unpaid for the Midtown spot, he blamed being banned from the restaurant for eight days in March. He said they lost about $500,000 during that time. He also said his employees and customers were harassed, which hurt his business.

PREVIOUS STORY: Employees of popular Midtown Houston restaurant Taste Bar and Kitchen struggle to receive payment

Meanwhile, dozens of customers showed up at Taste in Midtown around 11 a.m. Friday. Many were from out of town and made the hot spot their first stop in Houston.

They were disappointed to be turned away.

“They really had the opportunity to be really big, because like I said, it’s a Houston facility,” said Niyeka Shearn, who came from Baltimore. “Word has traveled all the way to Baltimore. They’ve been scouring social media and Facebook with great reviews, their plates, the live shows. To waste an opportunity like this is sad.”

SEE ALSO: Taste Bar and Kitchen Midtown restaurant reopens after closing due to repeated health breaches

For more on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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