Rumors have swirled since last year that restaurateur Michael “Mico” Rodriguez, of Mesero Restaurant Group, had “been tossed out by his partners.” Those rumors turned out to be untrue. Until now.
Trey Dyer, President and CEO of Mesero Restaurant Group, announced Rodriguez’s departure on Wednesday in a press release. He cites “multiple extended absences” as reason for Rodriguez’s removal as CEO early last year. He was moved to a position within the company that allowed him to “focus entirely on the creative side of our business. Unfortunately, he was not successful in that transition.” Dyer adds that he plans to pursue legal action against his former partner.
Rodriguez had most recently battled cancer. He told Nancy Nichols last year that it was in remission, but that his energy remained low and complained of hot flashes. In years prior, he’s battled alcoholism and weight problems.
We’re attempting to contact Rodriguez for comment. But should you be new to Dallas or otherwise wondering why Rodriquez’s departure from the restaurant group he founded is newsworthy, consider that the man behind Mi Cocina is our own, controversial but self-made, king of Tex Mex, whose reach began more than 25 years ago with a 12-seat restaurant and grew to an empire. Rodriquez was behind the move toward the presentation of upscale Tex Mex for an audience ready to spring for a refined take on prettily plated enchiladas accompanied by trendy cocktails. This was, as it turns out, a winning business model. Ultimately, it’s one that will have left him behind.
Here is Dyer’s full statement. We’ll update this post if we hear from Rodriguez.
It is with great disappointment that we announce the departure of Michael “Mico” Rodriguez as an employee of Mesero Restaurant Group. We are proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish with Mico since the opening of Mr. Mesero in 2011 and the subsequent opening of five Mesero restaurants in North Texas.
In early 2017, after multiple extended absences, it was decided with Mico that he would no longer serve as CEO of Mesero Restaurant Group. With the demands of a fast-growing restaurant establishment in multiple communities all over the DFW area he was to focus entirely on the creative side of our business. Unfortunately, he was not successful in that transition. More recently, Mico requested that the Mesero ownership release him from his partnership obligations with the organization and buy him out. Throughout this process, we have taken great pains to work with Mico in hopes of finding a solution that would allow us to end our partnership on friendly terms.
Unfortunately, after several months of discussions, we have not been able to reach an agreement to conclude our business together and furthermore, we have learned that Mico has violated our trust and the terms of our agreement on multiple occasions. As a result of Mico’s actions, we regrettably have determined it is necessary to pursue legal action.