Michael Franco, co-owner and general manager of Crow and the Pitcher, quickly moved to speak out following last week's arrest of chef and partner Alex Capasso as part of a federal child pornography investigation. In a Facebook post dated the evening the story hit, Franco says the restaurant was blindsided by the news and expresses concern for his employees. Franco further notes that Georges Perrier stepped up with an offer to help out in the kitchen. (Both Franco and Capasso are former employees of Perrier, who provided the partners with one of Le Bec-Fin's old cheese carts and has often been spotted there.)
Here's the full Facebook post:
"We're all shocked at the allegations against the Chef today, He had been missing from work for a week. Alex's girlfriend contacted us to say that he would not return to work because of child support issues. We're going to keep the kitchen running, nothing is going to change with our service. I sat down with the servers [the 20 employees] and told them that we're going to make it through this as a family. I'm worried about the people who work here and we're going to pull through this together. In the interim our dear friend Chef Georges Perrier has offered to step in and help our kitchen staff through this crisis"
Franco also told the Philadelphia Business Journal on Friday that he learned the truth about the chef's absence only when the news broke in the media, and that he was "not sure where this will leave Capasso as partner of the restaurant."
Still, the restaurant wasted no time in distancing itself and making clear who was in charge. A couple of hours after the news came out, the Crow and the Pitcher's website was scrubbed of Capasso's bio, leaving only Franco listed as owner.