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Mike Isabella’s Three Ballston Restaurants Have Shut Down, As ‘Top Chef’ Star Dissolves Company

Three Ballston restaurants owned by chef Mike Isabella have now shuttered, marking the latest fallout from a scandal that has helped sink Isabella’s once-expansive network of D.C. restaurants.

Signs posted at Kapnos Taverna, Pepita Cantina and Yona inform would-be diners that all three eateries have closed, as of this morning (Monday). Eater first reported that the restaurants, all located in the base of an apartment building at 4000 Wilson Blvd, shut down this weekend.

“We are closed,” a sign on Kapnos’ door reads. “Thank you for the love and support. We will miss you all.”

The Arlington eateries have faced an uncertain future ever since Isabella’s company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, after one of the “Top Chef” star’s former managers filed a sexual harassment suit against his company.

Though Isabella settled the suit this spring, revelations about the company’s business practices damaged Isabella’s reputation tremendously. He decided to shutter some of his restaurants in D.C. and Tysons alike in the aftermath, including Graffiato, Isabella’s first restaurant in the District.

Last week, Isabella revealed in court filings that he’d shutting down his entire company, suggesting that most of his remaining restaurants would close up shop by Dec. 27. But within days of the news breaking, people living nearby told ARLnow that they heard rumors that the Ballston restaurants would be closing much sooner than that.

All three restaurants in the building, known as The View at Liberty Center, opened back in 2015. Kapnos offered Greek fare, Pepita served up Mexican food and Yona cooked up ramen and Asian small plates.

At least one eatery with a location nearby is already offering to help out employees displaced by the closures.

It’s been a difficult year for retailers operating in the base of the high-rise — Taylor Gourmet also shut down its location in the building back in September.

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