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Jessica Biel Has Suddenly Closed Her L.A. Restaurant Au Fudge, Marred by Employee Allegations
Au Fudge had been plagued with a lawsuit alleging that it stiffed employees on tips.
When Jessica Biel opened the West Hollywood restaurant Au Fudge in 2016, she envisioned it (and marketed it) as a magical and whimsical place where children and adults could come and eat together or on their own, with food, activities, and Instagram opps catering to both kids and grownups. It's been all that — but it's also been mired in controversy and a legal battle, and it shuttered on Wednesday.
"While this is the end of an era, it’s also the beginning of a new chapter for @aufudge," Biel wrote on Instagram. "We are so very proud of the happy place we created for families and the community we were a part of."
Au Fudge came under fire in September 2017 with a lawsuit filed by nine employees, some of whom still worked at the restaurant at the time, alleging that they were stiffed tens of thousands of dollars in gratuities for working corporate events. The suit said Biel and her business partners "converted said gratuities to themselves in order to pad their own pockets." The lawsuit was suddenly dismissed without explanation in June.
Biel's Instagram post left a little light at the end of the tunnel for Au Fudge, which now morphs into a rentable private party space. So it's not totally over.
"Going forward, Au Fudge will be available for private events and please stay tuned for #AuFudgeCamp news!" she said. "We have so much love for our Au Fudge family."