Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jardine's Drama: The staff says that owner Beena was meana

Posted by on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Jardines is hiring, but it has a big public relations problem now.
  • Jardine's is hiring, but it has a big public relations problem now.

(Via Pitch food blog Fat City): There isn't much that Fat City can add to all the media drama stirred up after Beena Rajah, the owner of Jardine's restaurant and jazz club, impulsively fired every member of her venue's staff last week. All kinds of accusations are flying about Miss Raja's management style every witch, I mean which, way. And the comments about the vivacious Miss R on many of the local blogs are scathing.

I would hate to see Jardine's close — this city has far too few jazz and blues clubs as it is. And the food and service were good. But was it really such a terrible place to work?

By some accounts, yes. One former server, Stevie Collins, took his story to KSHB-TV Channel 41. And local waiter and restaurant blogger David Hayden interviewed several former Jardine's employees for a troubling post about the club for his tipsfortips blog.

According to former Jardine's chef-manager Jim Dennis (who had been advised by his attorney not to say too much about his own experiences at the venue), Hayden's blog was pretty accurate.

"I was impressed by how he really captured the things that were going on there," says Dennis, who had given his notice to Jardine's the week before the mass firing.

Hayden tells Fat City that a benefit for the fired Jardine's employees is in the works: "What kind of business fires a loyal staff right before Christmas?" asks Hayden. When the fund-raiser is announced, we'll report it in Fat City.

In the mean time, Beena Rajah is apparently hiring a new staff to work for several December performances — including Julia Othmer and Ida McBeth dates — that had been previously announced.

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