Updated, July 2, 11:39 a.m.
A month after his landlord filed a complaint to evict him, James Beard Award-winning chef R.J. Cooper has apparently agreed to vacate his Gypsy Soul space and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back rent and other fees, according to records from the Fairfax County General District Court.
Yet, despite the June 19 consent order to immediately vacate the premises at 8296 Glass Alley in the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Gypsy Soul continues to operate. An employee who answered the phone said the restaurant was open for service on Wednesday.
Cooper's attorney, Eric D. Combs, did not immediately return a phone call for comment. The attorney for landlord Eskridge (E&A), owned primarily by executives with Edens, the development giant, also did not return a phone call. An executive with both Edens and Eskridge (E&A) did not return a call, either.
On Thursday, the chef texted a short statement:
"We are currently and confidently working with the landlord to resolve the dispute," Cooper wrote. "Gypsy Soul is looking forward to a fun and busy summer."
According to court documents, Cooper and his wife and business partner, Judith Cooper, agreed to vacate the space and pay rent dating back to July 2014, when Gypsy Soul opened for business. The bill totals $277,790.92, and includes a 6 percent interest rate, starting from June 19, according to court records.
The Eskridge complaint lays out the particulars of its case against Gypsy Soul and the Coopers. It alleges the Coopers defaulted on its lease by not paying rent and by failing to remove liens filed against the premises. Both Potomac Construction Services, which built out the Gypsy Soul space, and Alto-Hartley, which supplied kitchen equipment, filed liens against Gypsy Soul in Fairfax County. Both cases are still pending.
The complaint also says Gypsy Soul defaulted on its lease by not adhering to the required operating hours. "Tenant unilaterally and with Landlord's permission ceased operating its business during certain required Operating Hours," a court document reads.
Staff writer Tom Jackman and researcher Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this story.