'Restaurant's' Rocco loses to former business partner

Rocco DiSpirito, the celebrity chef of NBC’s primetime reality series “The Restaurant,” lost a battle in New York civil court Tuesday against his antagonistic co-owner.

As a result of the decision by Acting Justice Ira Gammerman, co-owner Jeffrey Chodorow now has the right to sell Rocco’s restaurant, or renovate it under a different name, without any input from DiSpirito. A restraining order issued by Gammerman has kept DiSpirito from setting foot in the restaurant, and the judge extended that order into a formal injunction as part of his Tuesday ruling.

Chodorow and his investment group China Grill Management had sued DiSpirito, claiming that he mismanaged the restaurant, causing the group financial losses.

In response, DiSpirito said that Rocco’s had begun to make money in the last few months and has a shot at becoming successful.

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