Sebastopol Restaurant Handline separates from Lowell Sheldon after assault allegations


Sebastopol’s Handline announced today on social media that Lowell Sheldon will no longer be a partner of the restaurant. The news comes less than a week after the initial coverage of the Bohemian and the Chronicle of San Francisco revealed that Sheldon is accused by more than a dozen people of sexual harassment, assault and creating a toxic work environment.

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“Today, after more than a year of negotiations, we are relieved to share that Lowell Sheldon has finally agreed to part ways with Handline,” he added. Publish bed. “We are not and have never been indifferent to these questions.

Tuesday, the restaurant made a separate post acknowledging the allegations and said they “are taking steps to better prevent and resolve such problems in the future”. This post was greeted with dozens of comments from restaurant fans expressing disappointment that Sheldon continued to own it.

Handline, specializing in Coastal California cuisine, was opened in 2017 by Sheldon and Natalie Goble, who was also Sheldon’s romantic partner at the time. Sheldon was a revered restaurateur whose first restaurant, Lowell’s, was beloved for its farm-to-table food and community ethic.

While Lowell’s was ten years before Sheldon opened Handline, his next two partnerships with Sevastopol followed one another more quickly: Fern Bar in 2018 and Khom Loi in 2021. The latter is housed in the former location of Lowell’s, which has closed at the end of 2019..

This year, after former employees of Sheldon’s restaurants spoke publicly about their resignation because of him, the three restaurants decided to end their partnership with Sheldon. At Fern Bar, employee complaints about Sheldon sparked an HR investigation in 2019. Although corrective action was taken, Sheldon was not removed as a partner until April 2021.

On Thursday, Alexandra Lopez, one of Sheldon’s accusers, wrote on her personal social media: one person. I can’t help but think this could have been avoided if the companies had made public statements early on.

Lopez called on restaurants to share “what policies and structural changes have been made to prevent harassment and toxic behavior.”

Sheldon plans to open a bed and breakfast at the Freestone Hotel, a landmark in western Sonoma County.

The Bohemian contacted Goble and Sheldon for comment. We will update this article as they are answered.

Find out how Sheldon created a toxic work environment here. Click here To read about a woman who says Sheldon sexually assaulted her on a date in 2019.

Do you have any advice? Chelsea Kurnick can be reached at [email protected].

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