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Jonathan Eismann's House in Foreclosure, Bills Due

Categories: Food News
eismann_opt.jpg
Jonathan Eismann
Earlier this week, Miami New Times sat down with restaurateur Jonathan Eismann to discuss the disappearance of his restaurant empire and his new pizza venture (read the two-part interview here and here). At the helm of four successful venues last year (Pizza Volante, Fin, Q, and Pacific Time), Eismann had seemed like Mister Miami.

Then, little by little, the empire crumbled. Bills piled up, restaurants folded, and lawsuits were filed. Even Eismann's six-bedroom house dropped in value by almost a million.

True, the United States is mired in one of the worst recessions in its history, and businesses and residential properties are taking a beating, but there are still many savvy restaurant owners thriving in this economy. Eismann took a bigger hit than almost anyone we can think of.

So what's up with the man who once seemed to be this town's most successful epicurean entrepreneur? Miami-Dade Clerk of Court records provide a strong hint.

Two default judgments have been filed this yearby Sysco South Florida against Eismann. He owed money from his failed Pacific Time and Pizza Volante restaurants -- both near 40th Street and North Miami Avenue in the Design District. Both judgments name Eismann, along with the respective restaurant, as defendant.

The smallest judgment is dated February 24. It names Forza Hospitality Group, d/b/a Pizzavolante AKA Pizza Volante in the amount of $2,503.55. The court file states Eismann failed to live up to a stipulation agreement signed in November. Arrangements had been made for the chef/owner to pay a mere $45.27 per week to Sysco until the balance was satisfied. Eismann never lived up to the agreement, and a writ of garnishment was issued this past March 10 to SunTrust Bank.

Sysco also came down on East/West Four Company, Inc. (d/b/a Pacific Time). This time, the stakes were higher. Sysco and Eismann filed a stipulation agreement with the court over a $10,654.96 debt on November 17, 2010. He was to pay $256.30 per week. Once again, Eismann failed to fork over the cash. A default judgment was filed this past March 9 in the amount of $9,924.56.

Eismann's biggest problem might be his enormous waterfront home at 423 E. Rivo Alto Dr. on the Venetian Islands. In a filing dated January 22, 2011, mortgage holder BankUnited filed foreclosure proceedings against Eismann and wife Antonia to the tune of $1,384,368.89. According to Miami-Dade property records, the 4,900-square-foot residence was purchased in 1999 for $1,150,000. The house and property had a staggering market value of nearly $2.9 million in 2009. That fell to just more than $2.1 million in 2010.

Eismann, who is now working as a consultant, blames poor location for the demise of his restaurants. He has not responded to phone calls seeking comment about his legal problems. We will add his thoughts when we get a return call.

All of this, of course, might not bode well for Eismann and his family. Banks and corporations these days are less likely to extend credit to people with court records. If Eismann wants to get back in the restaurant game, he might find it more difficult to get financing.

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46 comments
Gymsterus
Gymsterus

JE....aka "the biggest asshole on earth" also treated me like shit. It was widely known at PT (where I worked) that he tried to make one server cry per night. The fateful night that he literally attacked me I stood up to him and was let go soon after. This guy is a DICK!

Martin Wiescholek
Martin Wiescholek

As a person who has known Jonathan and his wife for many years now I know he will come back from this. He is a gifted chef and gifts do not get foreclosed.We all make bad decisions in life. Some of them we are pushed into others we make on our own. When Pacific Times had to move from Lincoln Road is had its odds stacked against it. He was too early in the design distriict and has, as he did with Lincoln Road back in the days, brought the Design District into culinary visibility.

Keep in mind Donald Trump went under before he emerged and so did many great others. I know I had my share.

Jonathan, you will always have a line of credit with me when you need to stack the wine cellar at your next venture.

Yak
Yak

The pizza at Sparticos is less than the best in Miami. Mine was dry and relatively flavourless. Spris on Lincoln Rd has the best pizza in Miami in my opinion.

JimHenson
JimHenson

In response to BC's comment, an unpaid bill is an unpaid bill...but lets use your logic. What would you think if your employer shorted your next paycheck by $50.00? Come on now BC, be honest. You would be furious over the measly $50.00 he stiffed you for and even more so after your repeated requests for the money. I would bet that 50 bucks that you would tell the world what he did to you. Lets be real about this.

BC
BC

This article is jarringly personal and seems to be motivated by some sort of personal vendetta, rage and/or jealousy that has little to do with Eismann’s career. Granted he appears to have had some setbacks in the Design District (during the worst of economic times), but he is still one of the top 5 most recognized chefs in Miami. Sparticos , according to The Herald, succeeded where two generations of developers and architects had failed. And the New York Times has called Eismanns Pizzas, which he developed for Volante, the best in Miami. The personal attacks re unpaid bills (which amount to no more than many peoples credit card balance) and his personal finances don’t belong on this blog and are so unprofessional that I think you should be fired. Eismann hopefully will go on to create many more great restaurants for us.

miamiheat
miamiheat

Rude ugly moron ha ha! good luck consulting or conducting or counseling!

legendof the fall
legendof the fall

He deserves to be homeless coz he treated me ( a pizzavolante employee) like i was a piece of shit. He needs to brush up on his people skills and learn the art of communiction. I was surprised at his earlier business failures, no wonder?? Treat others like you want others to treat you.

Yak
Yak

"Restaurant tour" ? No such word!

Fleischmeister
Fleischmeister

It is amazing , that New Times printed this article , I guess they need some bad press! Who put Miami Beach on the Dining scene ?- Pacific Time -Jonathan Eismann . As we say Time is tough and we dont need to dig in deeper . As I know Jonathan , he will be back and stronger as before , mark my words. I always enjoyed doing buisness with him , fair and straight . He is a Restaurant tour with vision and creativety . He will be back.

MK
MK

Attempting to further your career by writing about the misfortune of others is a poor excuse for journalism. Jonathan Eisman is a talented chef who made positive contributions to Miami's restaurant industry. As such, he helped elevate the profile of Miami as a city. Your writing only serves to further the reputation of Miami as an immature city. Give him some credit for his past success and wish him luck in the future.

miles
miles

On what basis would you characterize Eismann's four failed restaurants as "successful?" If they were truly successful, they wouldn't be closed and his vendors would all be paid. And if the value of Eismann's real estate dropped only 30% since 2009, he's holding up better than most of us. Even by your numbers, his property is still worth nearly double what he paid for it. Obviously this guy risked his personal finances to try to save his business, and now he's paying the price. That's what entrepreneurs do. Give him credit for trying.

gene j.
gene j.

Give me a break! Convicted felons have come back to open successful restaurants in this town. Do you honestly think that a $12K debt to Sysco will prevent Eismann from launching a new venture? Not to mention, how many hundred of thousands did Sysco make from Eismann during his 15-year run on Lincoln Road? And how many jobs did he create there? Plenty, I'm sure. The fact is that we've all been through hell in the past few years. Our local economy is in the toilet. Lots of good people are suffering and foreclosures are rampant. Ask any local business owner how their numbers compare with three years prior and you will hear the same thing. Nearly everyone is just trying to survive until things finally get better. Sure, there are a few lucky entrepreneurs who have managed to thrive in the face of adversity. But they are the exception, not the rule. Eismann has caused no harm to anyone except himself. After he deals with his immediate problems, he will be back, for sure. In the meantime, there's no need to drag him through the mud. Being behind on bills is not news, especially not in this economy.

Robertmoreno
Robertmoreno

New Times and the food critics are like the Nazis in Miami. From Lee Klien and his paid biases about restaurant (yes I did say PAID)!! to this nonsense about a guy who has entertained thousands of people and took a gamble on the Design District. SHAME ON YOU New Times

GB
GB

laine and new times: what do you think you will win w this article? the pulitzer for investigative reporting?? Mr. Eismann is a family man, hard working, a key volunteer at his kids' schools and has taken a hit, like all of us, except for pretend reporters and pretend newspapers with pretend serious stories...go do an investigation on the corruption of those running for office and leave local business alone!! Pacific Time is Miami history and Chef Eismann wrote the book! come back chef, come back strong, we ll be there for you!

Jamburger
Jamburger

Is anything in this article false? If not, I have no issue with it.

JE (was) a major player in the Miami dining scene, and I think it's actually quite interesting to hear why his mini empire fell off the face of the earth.

Sure, the stuff about his home/family is less relevant to us (readers), however, once you thrust yourself into the limelight,( http://2011.sobefest.com/p/jon... ), the negative attention that comes along with it is something you just have to take in stride.

Best of luck to JE in his next endeavor.

FraiserEsquire
FraiserEsquire

Public record is not defamatory or slanderous but it hurts nonetheless. I do think that child molesters or deadbeats should be brought out on the carpet like New Times did here. Now go ahead, throw some stones at me...

Swish
Swish

Such a batch of haters! Shame on all of us!

Yo mama
Yo mama

Eismann's food ain't all that. His locations weren't horrible and he probably could have been still at it if he didn't get in over his head. If it WAS such a bad location why was he in such a rush to open THREE in the same area. Tata to Q, Pizza Volante and Pacific Times. Out with the old in with the new. Now pay your bills ya old fart!

Sad
Sad

This article was a complete hack job and totally unnecessary.

First off, the statement, "At the helm of four successful venues last year (Pizza Volante, Fin, Q, and Pacific Time), Eismann had seemed like Mister Miami." is totally false. None of those venues were successful. That's why they are now closed.

Secondly, I've never been a fan of Eismann's restaurants (overpriced, underwhelmed is my take) but to dive into the guy's credit history is just plain wrong. No one needs to know that, regardless of whether or not it is public fact. This article is slanderous and defamatory.

Jarnold197621
Jarnold197621

The person who wrote this article was evicted from her home! How dare she pass judgement on someone who made bad business decisions and maybe bit off more then he can chew. I also have to say that the amount Eismann owed to sysco and others wasnt even that much. I'm sure all debt eventually would have been paid off anyways if he wants to do business with them in the future. This article was rediculous and melicious.

Kay
Kay

Living high on the hog on someone else's dime is bad karma. Pay your bills people!

Billstretch
Billstretch

This is better than Housewives of Miami! But really, we all have skeletons...look at Martha!

tragikingdom
tragikingdom

WTF is the deal w/the hatchet job? Does it make you feel superior? Criminal politicians whose votes affect our daily quality of life get far less scrutiny. All this guy did was create Lincoln Road out of urban blight in the 80s, put South Beach on the map for good food, and aim for the stars in creating a new dining destination in the Design District - during the worst economy since the Great Depression. Not to mention he gave you candid answers to all your questions in the last 2 articles you wrote. Give the guy credit for trying something bold, and perhaps cut him a little freakin' bit of slack to get back into the game. Damn, Miami New Times - between this and that whole food-critic-in-bed-with-restaurateur review fiasco a couple of weeks ago...can't you find any real news to cover?

Evictedforlife
Evictedforlife

Doss I'm sure you wish you could afford to buy a studio in Aventura. stick to your fluffy Gaga and food truck posts. Even better. quit

Yak
Yak

They say that business failures are usually the result of gluttony, not starvation. Looks like this guy bit off more than he could chew.

Jim
Jim

How is a guy who defaults on one loan after another able to get financing for "other" business ventures? I can't get a mortgage without at least 30-percent down and I have a 740 credit score. Go figure!

BamEmeril
BamEmeril

Rough payback to Eismann after he gave New Times some great/funny/juicy quotes in the previous interview.

fair play
fair play

Seriously? This is absolutely appalling. The man has taken major gambles and won, and was a significant factor in putting Miami on the culinary food map, and keeping it there, for the past 2 decades. This time his entrepreneurial risk did not pay off. How many other trailblazers have done exactly the same thing, and gone on to rise again? Falling on hard times is no reason to pillory him and his family in public. And really - this counts as news in these economic hard times? Shouldn't people be focusing on how many cyclists and pedestrians are killed by hit & run drivers who are never held accountable? Or the pillaging of the public education system locally? Or how local green markets are springing up all over? SHAME ON YOU Ms. Doss and the Miami New Times. Remember - karma is a bitch.

Mary
Mary

Uncalled for, Laine. And how is this even news?

FTH
FTH

Eismann is fucking awesome! Fuck the haters.

Mike
Mike

Eismann will have the last laugh. Eismann is a hard working honest guy that put Miami Beach on the map .Laine cant wait to read the story about how you where evicted and sued.

Broward County Case Number: COCE96006157 State Reporting Number: 061996CC006157AXXXCECourt Type: Civil Division - County Court

Defendant Doss, Laine F WicksmanCase Type: * Removal of Tenant +Sub Type: Removal of Tenant & DmgsIncident Date: N/A Filing Date: 04/16/1996Court Location: Central Courthouse Case Status: Disposition EnteredMagistrate ID / Name: N/A Judge ID / Name: 50 Skolnik, Peter B.

Info
Info

This article is an embarrassment to the author. You start off with a dumb statement and you end with an even dumber and ignorant statement. To say he was at the helm of four successful venues is clearly incorrect and to say he should move to a studio is just plain rude.When you relay the facts you are doing a good job but in this case when you relay your opinions you are way out of bounds. Eismann is not my type of businessman but relay the facts and your readers can figure out the rest. You do not need to whack Eismann or your readers over the head with a sledgehammer!

JackieChiles
JackieChiles

Chowfather was right on about you from day one. YOU SUCK. Hope Eismann sues YOU

David
David

I don't really think this piece was called for. No need to beat him up like this.

Maybe we should start investigating the writers of the last three Eismann posts

Leo1984
Leo1984

Spartico has nothing to with him, he goes whenever have an interview ... go any day without an appointment!!! hes not the chef, he didnt design the menu nor he runs the business!

Only the true
Only the true

I think he's the biggest "prick" ever, does not know how to treat or talk to people, he talk to you like he's superior and PLEASE .... who personal introduces himself as "if you don't know me, you can Google my name" even if you a former president, a saint why ... why ? why ? somebody will say that to you? I guess this article was made just to say... yes you were great and thank you but dude move on!

Mark7349
Mark7349

I totally agree with you Legend, another ex employee and he made me feel the worst person in earth, he needs ( sadly on he's80's ( old fart)) to finally learn how to talk not only with his employees but with people in general (when you are not ripping them off) .... very happy with this article.

Jhonsonbarrera
Jhonsonbarrera

storm... calm.. rain....everybody have bad and good experiences. nobody it's free. What I know for sure is that Jonathan Eismann has a great heart, is hard worker , great father, I used  to work for him when i was in Miami, he was always on time to make sure everybody  get the money for doing the job, i don't understand why some people spit out the poison as soon as they get the chance. Things will go better in the future, I hope without vipers.

Mary
Mary

Kudos to you, Mike!

Jhonsonbarrera
Jhonsonbarrera

Probably he catch you doing  something wrong, what you o anyone expect from somebody who is trying to get the things well done to survive in this economy, what I know for a fact is if you are a dedicated worker you never give the chance to be treated  like a garbage.

karmatic
karmatic

@jhonny seafood - really? you bring a person's religion into the fray? are you totally ignorant, or just looking to be inflammatory and publicly idiotic?

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