Looking back over site metrics from the past year the biggest stories have revolved around high drama-not tacos or ramen. The brisket bandits that ensnared Sam’s Barbecue, Willie’s Barbecue and La Morenita had our readership enthralled. The saga of people smuggling meat out of HEB and hawking it out of their pants to restaurants in East Austin was an endless source of fascination to our readers. That tale reached its pinnacle when USA Today came calling http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/8/6/USA-Today-Comes-To-East-Austin-To-Investigate-Brisket-Bandits-Popped-in-Operation-Meat-Locker
Then the Yassine controversy sprang out of nowhere. Last Fall we penned an article about a lawsuit being filed against Yassine Enterprises over their failure to pay hourly wages to their bartenders. It must have really struck a nerve as the modest post drew major attention http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/10/30/Local-Bar-Tycoons-Yassine-Enterprise-Facing-Lawsuit-From-Industry-WorkersOpens-New-Stack-Burger-Bar
That was nothing compared to what happened just a few short months later when the FBI came down hard on the Yassines. The feds busted down doors all over downtown, arrested every Yassine they could get their hands on and shuttered each club in their sprawling empire. We were all over it in a piece titled “Shit Hits The Fan. Austin Texas Yassine Enterprises raided by the FBI http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/3/22/Shit-Hits-The-Fan-Austin-Texas-Yassine-Enterprises-Raided-By-The-FBI
Now the Yassines are back in the news again. Showing everybody that they’re really not such bad guys and if everybody would just give them a chance then they’d be happy to show Austin that they’re just a couple big lugs who want to do right by everybody and show the town a good time and make sure all their workers are treated good cause that’s just the way they run their businesses-they’ve agreed to shell out 685k to settle the class action lawsuit that was filed way back last fall by bartender Jack Webb of Roial.
U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks presided over the settlement but the real question is where is the money going to come from? The Yassines owe the state of Texas almost 2.5 million dollars in sales and beverage taxes and we have a feeling before those barkeeps see a penny of their award the state will get every nickel of theirs.
We’ll provide more coverage as events warrant.