Scott and Tanya Emerick respond to the lawsuit filed by new Cremant owner (and Caffe Vita/Via Tribunali owner) Mike McConnell:

We are disappointed to hear, for the first time, in The Stranger [on Slog], that Mike McConnell has filed a suit involving our partnership with him in Cremant. Based on what we have learned during our short business relationship with Mr. McConnell, we cannot say we are surprised. Since he became our partner, similar behavior has characterized much of Mr. McConnell’s interactions with us. We look forward to the opportunity to set the record straight regarding what has actually transpired with Cremant.

We are proud of our efforts to build Cremant into a popular French bistro that was welcomed with receptive arms by Seattle diners and the foodie establishment. Regrettably, the economy started presenting challenges forcing us to consider entering into a partnership with Mr. McConnell.

We sold an interest in Cremant, LLC to Mr. McConnell in September, 2008. Mr. McConnell promised much as we entered into a partnership with him to maintain the quality and reputation of the restaurant. Immediately, after he obtained a majority interest in Cremant, Mr. McConnell abandoned those promised aspirations. Ultimately, before the year ended, he locked us out of the business and kept our personal belongings and has since used every effort to force us to turn the business entirely over to him without compensation. We regret that we didn’t have the opportunity to fully assess Mr. McConnell’s true nature before we entered into business with him.

We are of course saddened to have to deal with tactics of this sort. We are, however, optimistic to have the opportunity to demonstrate the truth about Mr. McConnell’s relationship with us and Cremant and to reveal a brand of business tactics that fortunately are not characteristic of the general Seattle business community.


Scott and Tanya Emerick

Mike McConnell declined to comment.