Way back in 2008, in a faraway time when Miley Cyrus was more elementary school geek than Madonna freak, Rob Weakley and David Bernahl were best buddies and newly minted partners in a nascent, world-beating culinary operation.
That was when the Weekly photographed the co-founders of Pebble Beach Food & Wine—and later Restaurant 1833, Cannery Row Brewing Company, Los Angeles Food & Wine, downtown L.A.'s popular Faith & Flower and more—for the cover of a piece called "Delicious Ambitions: Pulling together the sweeping Pebble Beach Food and Wine has been a spectacular ride by itself."
Right now, that epic brotherhood feels a long way away.
Like last Monday, as I was looking through the latest Monterey County Superior Court cross-complaint in the partners' split that has gotten uglier than few anticipated.
It features some zesty language, alleging Weakley committed fraud and concealment and criminal acts, including doctoring documents to swing control of the trendy and critically acclaimed Faith & Flower restaurant to CLM's partners.
It also comes in response to Weakley's original suit, which essentially said Bernahl, et. al. were not honoring their commitment to pay his bitter buyout from the company he helped create.
(It all gets much more complicated than this. Click through to "Looking for hope in the dramatic David Bernahl-Rob Weakley-Coastal Luxury Management breakdown" for greater backstory.)
But sometimes it can feel not so far, like right now, as a major piece of peaceful resolution comes.
The news arrives as the the flagship 1833 the two founded and opened together—before it won a nomination as James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant—reopens with new star Exec Chef Jason Franey at the kitchen controls with an X-Men-grade lineup of pastry powerhouse (Ben Spungin), wine mindfulness (Bernabe de Luna) and front-house expertise (Kyle Beauregard).
The beef that helped trigger all the drama was one between Faith & Flower's owners Cindy and Jeff Troesh and post-Weakley Coastal Luxury Management, and involved months of proposed buyouts from each side.
Each party recognized a very decorated and deserving venture, and wanted to run the show.
Insiders now tell me, on the condition of anonymity pending more public announcements from the principals, that the Troeshes have agreed to surrender their piece of Faith & Flower after intensive mediation.
Which is good news for CLM and probably for downtown L.A.'s food scene. Despite the enthusiasm for the area's culinary renaissance and the restaurant itself, Cindy Troesh doesn't have the same epicurean acumen of the CLM team.
Meanwhile Weakley and Bernahl continue their own talks over the fairest way to finalize the exit that started last summer.
Something tells me there will be good news there soon.
And maybe another photo shoot.
OK, maybe not the last part.