Issa brothers buy Scotch & Sirloin

Scotch & Sirloin, 5325 E. Kellogg Photo by Megan True/ TheWichita EagleWICHITA — Mike Issa now confirms what Have You Heard? reported last month.

He and his brothers, Ty and Ali, have purchased the Scotch & Sirloin.

“The Scotch is the oldest institution in Wichita,” Mike Issa says.

There actually are older restaurants, but Issa says, “We really believe this is Wichita’s tradition restaurant. We would love to be part of it.”

The Issas officially take over Jan. 16.

The brothers first approached majority owner Lindy Andeel a couple of years ago about buying the restaurant, which is on East Kellogg between Oliver and Edgemoor.

“We got busy with other venues,” Issa says of the delay.

The Issas own Larkspur Bistro & Bar in Old Town, YaYa’s EuroBistro in Bradley Fair, Hereford House at Terradyne Country Club, Heat Cigar & Hookah Lounge near Central and Rock and some IHOP restaurants in Wichita and Emporia.

Mike Issa is going to be more of a presence at the Scotch than his brothers.

“I’m going to be at the Hereford House, too,” he says of where he generally can be found already.

Issa says he and his brothers are able to do so many restaurants with “great help” and a “great management team.”

Karl Bachman is the new general manager the Issas hired to work at the Scotch. He’s already there.

Longtime general manager Sonny Glennon is still there, too.

“He’s still part of the whole package with us,” Mike Issa says.

Whether Glennon is still a co-owner in the business is unclear. Glennon referred questions to Issa, and Issa says only, “He’ll be working with our team 100 percent.”

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A change is in the works at Scotch & Sirloin

WICHITA — An ownership change appears to be in the works at one of Wichita’s most-storied restaurants, but no one seems to want to discuss it.

According to a filing with the state, Steaks R Us has applied for a liquor license at the Scotch & Sirloin.

Mike Issa, who is in business with his brothers Ty and Ali at several restaurants, is the applicant.

Mike Issa didn’t return a call for comment. Neither did Scotch co-owner Lindy Andeel.

Ty Issa demurs when asked about a possible purchase.

“Every time someone sees me having dinner with Lindy, they assume I’m doing something,” he says.

Scotch co-owner Sonny Glennon, who has been the face of the restaurant for years as the ever-present host, does not want to discuss a possible transaction with the Issas.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said when initially asked about a sale last week.

This week, Glennon suggested asking the Issas what’s going on.

Doug Farha also is an owner of the Scotch. He did not return a call for comment.

The Issas own Larkspur Bistro & Bar in Old Town, YaYa’s EuroBistro in Bradley Fair, Hereford House at Terradyne Country Club, Heat Cigar & Hookah Lounge near Central and Rock and some IHOP restaurants in Wichita and Emporia.

Their deal at the Scotch is expected to close about a month into the new year. Look for more details soon.

Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge closes

WICHITA — A Wichita institution has come to an end.

Saturday was the last day of business for Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge.

“I guess you could say we were pretty underfunded from the beginning,” owner Michael Redick says.

Redick bought the business at 2121 N. Tyler in February 2011 from longtime owner Tommy D’Annunzio.

D’Annunzio and Sonny Glennon, who owns Scotch & Sirloin, started the business as Tom & Sonny’s at Douglas and West Street in 1979.

“We were trying to revitalize it,” Redick says. “It was taking a legend on the west side and, you know, give it its life back.”

Redick says he had no choice but to renovate.

“It was just an aged building,” he says. The remodel “ate up all of our working capital.”

The 7,000-square-foot space is twice what Redick says he needed.

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Two former Scotch & Sirloin managers file lawsuit claiming they were fired after refusing to lie for the company

WICHITA — Two more former Scotch & Sirloin employees have filed a lawsuit against Scotch Investment Corp.

Former managers Saprina Almosrati and Lindsey Moate filed a federal lawsuit last week over their dismissal from the restaurant for what they say are issues related to past lawsuits waitresses have filed against the company.

Almosrati and Moate claim they were fired for their unwillingness to lie or falsify documents related to those lawsuits.

In recent years, two former waitresses sued the company claiming they were fired or reassigned jobs after becoming pregnant.

A third employee filed a lawsuit after claiming she was fired for reporting the issue over the pregnancies to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Part of that lawsuit included a claim that the Scotch has wage payment practices that are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The claim that money had been illegally deducted from waitresses’ pay for cooks and advertising became certified as a collective action.

Each of the discrimination cases was settled and the company has paid the wage claims.

Randy Rathbun, the attorney who filed the lawsuits on behalf of those clients, also is representing Almosrati and Moate in their suit against Scotch Investment.

“We’ve got a situation where they tried to cover up wrongdoing with lies,” Rathbun says. “If they would have been honest from the start and not tried to get people to lie about it . . . it would have been much less of a problem to them than it is now.”

General manager Sonny Glennon says what Almosrati and Moate are claiming is wrong.

“I really don’t think I’ve done anything,” he said. “I didn’t do anything except do what I had to do to run a business, and unfortunately, I’m going to have to listen to what other people have to say.”

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Scotch & Sirloin settles one lawsuit with former waitresses

WICHITA — Scotch & Sirloin’s parent company has settled part of its lawsuit with former and current waitresses at the restaurant.

In 2009, Former Scotch & Sirloin waitress Christina Nuss filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against Scotch Investment Corp.

Part of the suit said the Scotch has wage payment practices that are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nuss said money was illegally deducted from waitresses’ pay for cooks, dishwashers and advertising.

That portion of the lawsuit was certified as a collective action. Current or former waitresses (dating back to March 17, 2007) could opt into the wage claim.

That’s the part of the suit that’s been settled.

A gag order prevents either side from talking. According to court documents, though, 20 waitresses are included in the settlement, and they are to receive twice the amount of tips they contended were wrongfully withheld along with attorney fees.

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Tommy’s Restaurant & Lounge for sale

WICHITA — Want to own a piece of Wichita history? Now you can.

Tommy D’Annunzio is selling his Tommy’s Restaurant & Lounge at 21st and Tyler.

“I’m 62 years old,” he says. “I’ve been in the business 40-some years.”

He’s had Tommy’s for 20 years. Before that, he had a couple of restaurants, including Tom & Sonny’s with his friend Sonny Glennon, who now is a co-owner of Scotch & Sirloin.

Tommy’s seats almost 300.

D’Annunzio is trying to sell the restaurant. The lease at the space is separate.

Lewis Kelley and Gary Snyder of Landmark Commercial Real Estate are handling the sale of the business.

D’Annunzio can’t say what he’ll do next.

“I don’t know. I’m still here, so it’s hard to say.”

And if it doesn’t sell?

“I don’t know. I’ll be here.”

A third former Scotch & Sirloin waitress sues for discrimination

WICHITA — Another former Scotch & Sirloin waitress has filed a federal lawsuit against the restaurant alleging discrimination due to a pregnancy.

Tricia Molina worked at the restaurant from January 2009 to October 2009.

The lawsuit says business was slow at that time, and Molina made plans to return during the busier holiday season.

She claims that when she called to confirm her return date, she was told that because she was pregnant, she couldn’t return until after she gave birth.

As Have You Heard? reported in December, former Scotch waitress Erica Pizzola filed a federal suit claiming she was fired after Scotch general manager Sonny Glennon learned she was pregnant.

That case has been settled.

Former waitress Christina Nuss also filed a lawsuit claiming “illegal practices of terminating pregnant waitresses and promoting an atmosphere which tolerates the sexual harassment of female employees.”

Part of Nuss’ lawsuit says the Scotch has wage payment practices that are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. She says money has been illegally deducted from waitresses’ pay for cooks and advertising.

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Second former Scotch & Sirloin waitress sued the restaurant earlier this year

WICHITA — Christina Nuss isn’t the only former Scotch & Sirloin waitress to sue Scotch Investment Corp. this year.

On Friday, Nuss filed a federal discrimination lawsuit alleging “illegal practices of terminating pregnant waitresses and promoting an atmosphere which tolerates the sexual harassment of female employees.”

Earlier this year, former Scotch waitress Erica Pizzola filed a federal suit claiming she was fired after general manager Sonny Glennon learned she was pregnant.

According to the lawsuit, “Glennon told the plaintiff that she needed to leave now while she was on ‘good terms’ with the restaurant management.”

The lawsuit stated that Pizzola had since discovered two other waitresses were fired because of pregnancies.

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Former waitress sues Scotch & Sirloin for discrimination

WICHITA — Former Scotch & Sirloin waitress Christina Nuss filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court on Friday against Scotch Investment Corp.

The lawsuit says Nuss was fired for complaints about “illegal practices of terminating pregnant waitresses and promoting an atmosphere which tolerates the sexual harassment of female employees.”

Forrest Rhodes, the restaurant’s attorney, says, “Scotch doesn’t believe they did anything wrong.

“We’ll respond appropriately through the court system.”

Nuss was employed at the restaurant from 2005 to October 2008 and contends that management was pleased with her job performance throughout that time.

But Nuss says she was fired in 2008 after attempting to file online complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit says Nuss first became concerned about how women were treated in late 2007.

She says a waitress was fired for being pregnant.

“Scotch management had told this waitress that her pregnancy was unattractive and unappealing to the male clientele of the Scotch, and that it did not fit their image,” according to the lawsuit.

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Scotch & Sirloin celebrates 40 years and invites customers to share memories

menu1WICHITA — Scotch & Sirloin is celebrating its 40th year this year and is inviting customers to share memories at www.scotchandsirloin.net.

“That would be unbelievable,” says manager and co-owner Sonny Glennon.

“This has just been one of the coolest experiences of my life,” he says of being at the Scotch more than two decades.

“We’d like to have their opinion of what was the cool thing.”

The official celebration will be in September with several events and specials throughout the week of Sept. 14.

That will be just a couple of months shy of the restaurant’s 41st birthday.

It opened on Nov. 6, 1968, back when a KC Strip was $6 and a filet mignon was $4.50.

“We’re calling it the 40th anniversary, but we’re one year off,” Glennon says.

The celebration is still happening in the 40th year, though, and by having it in September instead of November, he says, “That gets us in ahead of the insanity” of the holiday season.