The Pasta House Boy

A black restaurateur says he was used as a frontman -- but didn't know it

With Mischeaux gone, what happens to the Pasta House at the airport?

For now, nothing.

Thomas says that even though Arlando Inc. got into the airport as a DBE but no longer qualifies as such, "They don't lose their contract or lease," he says. Their lease, by the way, runs all the way to Jan. 31, 2013. Since the Riverfront Times first asked Thomas about Mischeaux, the airport has forwarded a "notice of proposed decertification" to Arlando Inc. But even if Arlando Inc. loses its certification, Thomas says, Host still exceeds the airport's goal to have 30 percent of the food business operated by DBEs -- so no action would be taken against Host or the Pasta House franchisee.

Arlando Mischeaux
Jennifer Silverberg
Arlando Mischeaux

Tucci says that is his understanding, too. But, he says, "We're looking for another DBE. Host has been aware of all this. We've been taking them through it step by step."

Steve Izant, Host's vice president for business development, tells a different story. Pasta House never has formally told Host that it revoked Arlando Inc.'s franchise, he says. "Butch Howard [Host's regional vice president of operations] went down there one day to check on something, and when he asked for Arlando, they said, 'Gee, he's no longer with us.'"

Adding that Host is not going to stand on formalities, he says, "We expect Pasta House to find a new DBE ... If they don't do that, it is a violation of the lease, and they would be in default."

Mischeaux, meanwhile, has finally obtained an independent lawyer and plans to sue Pasta House. His partnership with Tucci was a farce, he says bitterly: "He needed a Negro, someone who could stand up under scrutiny ... and he knew that I would do anything he told me to."

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