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Superiority Burger Parts Ways With Ashwin Deshmukh

Superiority Burger Parts Ways With Ashwin Deshmukh

Superiority Burger, the popular East Village restaurant, has dropped its managing partner, Ashwin Deshmukh, following a New York Times story about a network of people who have accused Mr. Deshmukh of stealing from them over the years.

In a letter to investors on Tuesday, Brooks Headley, the chef at Superiority Burger, and Sheryl Heefner, the general manager, said they had parted ways with Mr. Deshmukh and announced that they would conduct an internal review of the business’s records.

Superiority Burger has been sued three times this year: twice by an investor, June Kwan, who asserted that she had not been paid back for a $200,000 loan to Mr. Deshmukh; and once by the restaurant’s builder, who claimed that Superiority Burger and Mr. Deshmukh were in arrears. (Shortly after The Times reached out to Mr. Deshmukh about its original story, Superiority Burger and Ms. Kwan agreed to settle her suits.)

The letter says that Mr. Deshmukh is “no longer an employee or involved in the operation of Superiority Burger,” but it does not address whether he is still financially involved in the restaurant.

“We do not expect to find wrongdoing,” the letter reads.

Mr. Headley and Ms. Heefner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A New York Times article last week charted more than a decade of Mr. Deshmukh’s professional life, and reported on the many individuals and businesses he is said to have hustled. The article also details the way Mr. Deshmukh, a marketer from Pennsylvania, used his social connections and social media to burnish his own brand as a nightlife impresario at the same time as many of his partners began to suspect him of manipulation.

In one case, Mr. Deshmukh presented himself for years as the owner of Williamsburg Pizza, and ran the shop’s social media accounts, even though he had invested only a small amount of money into the chain. (And much of it came from other people, according to Williamsburg Pizza’s owner.)

Mr. Deshmukh denied many of the allegations in the article, without providing specifics. He remains a partner at Jean’s, an exclusive downtown nightclub and restaurant.

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