Thai and Danielle Dang remain focused on opening their new Vietnamese restaurant, HaiSous, late this fall in Pilsen. However, the Dangs say the road to the opening hasn’t been as smooth as they hoped and they dropped a litany of allegations against Thai Dang’s former employers at Embeya, the West Loop restaurant that shuttered in June. They say Komal Patel and Attila Gyulai failed to pay city fines for a range of infractions that have impeded the Dangs’ liquor license application. Chicago’s liquor control commission will deny eligibility to a liquor license applicant if they owe any outstanding debt to the city.
The unpaid fines include health department violations, parking tickets and registration fees, according to the Dangs. There’s also the matter of a defaulted business loan, the Dangs added. These violations are associated with the Dangs’ LLC which was wrestled away from Patel and Gyulai in court. The Dangs also say many of the assets inside Embeya—furniture and equipment—had been sold before any appraisals.
Patel and Gyulai have not responded to multiple requests for comment on the situation or to relay their side of the story.
"We are doing everything in our legal power to hold them accountable," Danielle Dang wrote. "Unfortunately they have both left the country since the closing of our business and haven't been responsive to litigation obligations."
Multiple sources also say that Patel and Gyulai still aren’t currently in the states. They still have control over the Embeya space on the corner of Randolph and Jefferson. If they are struggling to pay the Dangs any court-mandated money, a shuttered restaurant that generates zero money fails to help. That’s led to some speculation from nearby restaurant owners that a new restaurant could rise in the space under a new LLC.
The falling out between Dang and Gyulai led to two lawsuits already, and when the courts ruled in favor of Dang, Gyulai said that ruined Embeya. The Embeya name also holds sentimental value to Thai Dang. It’s a childhood nickname meaning "little one."
"We hope to hear back from our many inquiries to the [Gyulais] so we can move forward," Danielle Dang wrote.
Update: Thai Dang, and his brother Kenny, have a pending lawsuit against Gyulai. The next court appearance, according to Cook County records is Sept. 13.