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Tinker Street reopens two weeks after reports of employee walkout, chef resignation

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Nearly two weeks after popular Indianapolis restaurant Tinker Street announced its closure, the restaurant has plans to reopen.

Tinker Street took to Facebook on Monday to announce they will officially reopen for dinner on Tuesday.

The restaurant's chef, Braedon Kellner, said last month that the front house staff walked out and he resigned before the rest of the staff quit. Kellner said he was negotiating to buy part of the restaurant, but said the staff was made to question why they worked there.

Former employees who said they left in 2017 and asked to remain anonymous spoke out about the restaurant’s atmosphere. They said upper management made comments about their figures, one calling it a "toxic atmosphere."

Monday evening, the restaurant announced it was reopening under new ownership. Kellner and Tom Main are the new co-owners.

"Chef Braedon and I want to thank our amazing staff. I’m proud that they expressed their concerns, and put action behind their heartfelt words. There were issues related to personnel and workplace dynamics, that we cannot delve into, but what has emerged is a new partnership that the staff, Chef Braedon, and I feel very strongly about. I also want to thank our loyal customers, from whom we’ve received an incredible outpouring of concern and affection," Main said. 

The restaurant will now only be open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday as a way to give employees more time off.

"We were originally 7 days a week so operating a restaurant of this caliber 7 days a week was very, very high stress.  We're going to be having a much better quality of life," Chef Braedon said.

The announcement post made no mention of Peter George, who opened Tinker Street with Main in the now-popular Old Northside in 2015 with Kellner as head chef.

Main thanked those who provided support during the transition.

"Thanks again to all of you who’ve reached out, and stuck by us during this time. It is truly inspiring, and we’re more committed than ever to making Tinker Street an amazing experience for everyone who walks through our doors!" he said.

Employees say the turmoil made them stronger and they're ready to serve the community again.

"I think it's brought us all closer together honestly and I think we're going to be a much better team but all of these servers who were included they all still have their job, they're all still here minus a few people," lead server Ashlee Nemeth said.

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