Owners of the Cask & Ale, a successful downtown St. Petersburg restaurant and bar, are suing its operations manager for misconduct.
Brother’s Associates, partial owners of Cask & Ale, are going after Jeffrey Catherell, the popular eatery’s manager, after the company claimed Catherell was trying to trademark the restaurant’s name without permission.
They also say he was taking funds from the restaurant for his own benefit, and concealing financial and business information from Brother’s Associates.
The suit accuses Catherell of one count each of breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent accounting.
Brother’s demands an accounting of all transactions, income, and expenses that relate to Catherell’s management of the company as well as costs and damages deemed appropriate by a court.
In 2013, Special Cask Blend purchased 25 percent of Brother’s Associates. In the Operating Agreement between the two companies, it was agreed that as Special Cask’s managing member, Catherell, would serve as day-to-day manager at Cask & Ale.
In April 2016, Brother’s learned Catherell begun to trademark “Cask & Ale,” despite Brother’s owning the right to the name.
Nevertheless, that ownership didn’t seem to stop Catherell from continuing the process. Behind the back of his partners, Catherell initiated a plan to license the name to others for profit.
He also began “diverting money and other property” for his own benefit, according to the suit.
The suit was filed Sept. 20, and Catherell was summoned the next day by the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County.
In July, members of Brother’s voted to remove Catherell from all positions of authority. There is no word on his current situation at the company.
Cask & Ale, located at 29 Third St. N. in St. Petersburg, opened in 2014 and quickly became a success. The same people has previously run the Vintage Ultra Lounge, which was also in downtown St. Pete.