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Fired Publican Chef Cosmo Goss Leaves His Own Restaurant Before it Opens

Goss was to be a partner in the forthcoming Pacific Standard Time in River North

Cosmo Goss
Marc Hauser
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

More than two months after One Off Hospitality Group fired Publican restaurants executive chef Cosmo Goss, Goss and the company announced that he is no longer involved with Pacific Standard Time, the much-anticipated restaurant scheduled to open this spring in River North. One Off fired Goss and Publican Anker GM Antonio Molina in October claiming they failed to take proper action against staff members after an “inappropriate” and “personal” photograph of a female coworker was shared between fellow employees at Publican Anker in Wicker Park. The victim claimed Goss ignored her requests to rectify the situation which started in late 2016.

Both Goss and his new hospitality company said his departure was a mutual decision. Pacific Standard Time was to be a collaboration between One Off with Goss and chef Erling Wu-Bower’s new company, Underscore Hospitality. Goss said, via a prepared statement, that he resigned as it represented “the best decision for all.” The separation happened around Thanksgiving. The firing “immediately” triggered a reevaluation of Goss’s role in the upcoming restaurant from Underscore and One Off, according to a joint statement from the two companies.

After news of his firing went public, Goss vowed not to repeat his mistakes in the future at Pacific Standard Time. His departure means he won’t get that opportunity. One Off and Underscore didn’t get into the specific logistics behind this latest decision.

One Off — the company behind Chicago restaurants including Blackbird, Big Star, and Avec — is an investor and operational partner in Pacific Standard Time; Goss and Wu-Bower were former One Off employees. While Goss oversaw the family of Publican restaurants — including the flagship in Fulton Market, Wu-Bower cheffed at Nico Osteria, the Italian seafood restaurant in Gold Coast. Pacific Standard Time is to be Underscore’s first restaurant. Joshua Tilden, One Off’s strategic operations director, is another partner. Tilden and Wu-Bower remain with Underscore. Neither have publicly commented on the incident since October.

The Publican is one of Chicago’s most-reputable restaurants, an Eater Chicago 38 member. Goss joined One Off in 2012. He was close with One Off co-founder chef Paul Kahan and Goss’s name appears as a co-author in The Publican’s recently released cookbook, Cheers to The Publican. Reps mentioned that Goss’s departure has not altered the opening timeframe for Pacific Standard Time, which is located across the street from the former Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s in the former Tavernita space at 151 E. Erie Street.

Here’s the joint statement from Underscore and One Off:

“As a result of the actions that led to Goss’ firing from One Off Hospitality Group, his involvement with Pacific Standard Time was immediately put under evaluation. In turn, we’ve parted ways with Goss, and he’s no longer part of Pacific Standard Time or Underscore Hospitality. We finalized this decision in late 2017.

All that said, Pacific Standard Time is still on track for a spring 2018 opening, and the concept will still open as a partnership between Underscore Hospitality (Chef Erling Wu-Bower and Joshua Tilden) and One Off Hospitality’s Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia Gianfrancisco and Terry Alexander.”

Here’s Goss’s statement:

“I can confirm that I am no longer involved with Underscore Hospitality. While saddened by the promise the partnership once held, it was the best decision for all. I wish them well in their future projects.”