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Kapnos Kouzina open for ‘business as usual’ after celebrity chef bankruptcy filing

Beleaguered celebrity chef Mike Isabella will keep Kapnos Kouzina, his downtown Bethesda restaurant on Hampden Lane, open after filing last week for bankruptcy protection in federal court for several other eateries run by his restaurant group.

Kapnos Kouzina opened in downtown Bethesda in the winter of 2015 and is the first Greek-style restaurant Isabella opened in Maryland.

“It will be business as usual and customers can expect no change to the fresh flavors and extraordinary hospitality offered at Kapnos Kouzina,” a spokesperson said Friday.

In a press statement, Isabella said the bankruptcy filing will help to stabilize the financial future of the Mike Isabella Concepts (MIC), the restaurant group’s holding company.

Isabella was sued by a former employee for sexual harassment in March, which had an almost immediate impact on sales, according to published reports. Other financial challenges within MIC also seem to have played a part in the bankruptcy filing, according to the reports.

MIC restaurants Pepita, Yona, Kapnos Taverna in Arlington, the Isabella Eatery in Tysons Galleria, Graffiato in Richmond and Arroz and Graffiato in D.C. are included in the bankruptcy filing.

“To loyal patrons, we want you to know that we are open for business and to our employees, it is because of you our future is bright,” Isabella said.

Mission BBQ to offer free sandwiches to first responders on 9/11

Mission BBQ, including Montgomery County’s Rockville location, will honor all first responders by offering them a complimentary sandwich on Sept. 11—marking the 17th anniversary of coordinated terrorist attacks against the U.S., including at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and World Trade Center in New York City.

At noon, the National Anthem will also be sung live at each restaurant

“We remember the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women from numerous Fire, Police and First Responder Departments, and we dedicate this day in their memory,” a company press release said. “We thank them for their continued dedication and loyalty.”

Mission BBQ opened its doors on Sept. 11, 2011. There are 14 locations in Maryland. Mission BBQ will be open 11 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Takoma Park Farmers Market hosts its seventh annual pie-making contest

The Takoma Park Farmers Market will host its annual pie-making contest Sept. 23. Bakers are invited to enter one- or two- crust pies using seasonal ingredients found at the market. Celebrity judges will be on hand to award prizes. At the conclusion of the contest, all pies will be sliced and offered to the public for a donation. Proceeds will benefit the Takoma Park Famers Market food stamp program.

Among the judges are Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart, Republic chef and partner Danny Wells, Seoul Food chef and partner Anna Goree, The Spice Suite creator and curator Angel Anderson and Takoma Beverage Co. partner Chris Brown.

Pie makers can deliver their pies to the Seventh Day Adventist Church lawn at the corner of Laurel and Carroll avenues in Takoma Park between 11 and 11:30 a.m. Judging will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Immediately following, pie slices will be offered for a donation.