A popular Lexington Italian restaurant is temporarily closed, and employees and former employees are complaining about not getting paid.
A popular Lexington Italian restaurant is temporarily closed, and employees and former employees are complaining about not getting paid, taking to social media to share their stories.
Alodia’s Cucina Italiana, located at the corner of West Main Street and North Church Street, has been closed since at least June 30, according to an employee who picked up the phone that day at the restaurant’s other location in Irmo, who said the Lexington restaurant plans to reopen this coming week.
A sign on the door at the Lexington location confirms the temporary closure.
The Lexington Alodia’s has been open since 2018, moving into a building purchased and renovated as part of the town’s Icehouse Amphitheater project, and sits adjacent to the town’s downtown entertainment venue.
According to Town of Lexington Communications Manager Laurin Barnes, Alodia’s business license expired April 30 and has not been renewed.
There have also been three complaints made to the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, about the restaurant, according to Communications Director Lesia Kudelka.
One employee who posted to Facebook, Zoe Spires, said June 27 that “we are in deep trouble right now so if you happen to come in tomorrow, Thursday or anytime this week, please pay with cash.”
She added that she along with other employees at the time have not been paid in two weeks. The viral post has been shared nearly 400 times and garnered nearly 1,000 comments.
Spires told the Chronicle that while her check finally went through June 30, she is still owed money from the restaurant. She also mentioned that everyone at the Lexington location, including the general manager, have quit.
The general manager is the only person to have heard from owner Adam Huneau, who is on vacation, according to Spires.
There is one comment from what appears to be Huneau on Spires’ Facebook post:
“Zoe is correct, there has been a cash flow issue for sure. We are actively pursuing measures to correct it and it will be rectified. I assure you Zoe you will be compensated. It’s been a very challenging three years. I would appreciate everyone’s support when we reopen as we did recently at the Irmo store.”
The Chronicle reached out to Huneau but has not received a reply.
Spires’ stepfather, Brett Brazell, has started a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money for the restaurant’s former employees.
He said he has worked as a server elsewhere, and it struck him odd that servers would have to wait two weeks to be paid for their tip money.
Adam Eskridge, another former employee of Alodia’s in Lexington, responded to Spires’ post, writing, “I have [worked] there as a full time employee for well over a year and only met the owner once and now being blindsided and having my job and my second family all taken away from me while being called a government bottom feeder for wanting to get paid for the work I was doing [is] definitely a hard pill to swallow. I’ll absolutely miss the Alodia’s family.”
Eskridge said he worked as a line cook until June 29. Eskridge’s accusation of being called names is also echoed by Spires.
Spires said this isn’t the first time checks haven’t cleared for her in the year and a half she has worked for the Lexington restaurant.
This isn’t the first time one of the Alodia’s has publicly struggled in recent years, as the Irmo location faced a temporary closure in 2021.
Spires said all of the employees with the exception of the owner have been like a “second family.”
“I generally hope both Alodia’s locations get shut down because I’d hate for it to open again and for future employees to go through this again,” said Spires.
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