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The Wage Theft Lawsuit Against Hamdi Has Been Dismissed

The buzzed-about Turkish restaurant was able to resolve the dispute with four former employees

Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

A lawsuit against the owners of Hamdi accusing them of withholding tips and overtime pay and not providing mandated breaks has been dismissed. The Seattle Times had the news first.

Co-owner Katrina Schult said in an email to Eater Seattle that “the parties agreed that the case should be dismissed with prejudice” and that the “the parties were able to discuss their mutual misunderstandings and reach a satisfactory resolution of all disputes.” Eater Seattle has reached out to the plaintiffs’ attorney and will update this article if we hear back.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2023 by four former employees who said that Schult and her partner, Berk Güldal, violated the Seattle Wage Theft Ordinance among other laws. Güldal and Schult maintained that their only failing was not documenting in writing an agreement for how tips would be distributed to front- and back-of-house employees.

Güldal and Schult have worked at some of the country’s most critically acclaimed restaurants, including Eleven Madison Park in New York and California’s French Laundry. They arrived on Seattle’s dining scene with a bang in 2021 when the couple hosted pop-ups outside Ballard’s Fair Isle Brewing that involved roasted entire lambs over an open fire. Hamdi opened its brick-and-mortar location in November 2022 and dealt with some immediate setbacks — a chef quit for family-related reasons, and the owners closed for a month starting in January to “reestablish some things.” The lawsuit was filed a few days after this temporary closure.

Since opening, Hamdi has received a wave of recognition from local and national outlets, including Bon Appetit and Esquire, which named it one of the best new restaurants in America last year.

Hamdi

4012 Leary Way Northwest, , WA 98107 (206) 561-6953 Visit Website