OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A barbecue restaurant at the center of controversy with the Oklahoma Tourism Department is now suing the state.
Swadley's Foggy Bottom Kitchen is countersuing and says the state and leaders are passing blame to the restaurant for political bickering.
In a 57-page suit filed Tuesday the restaurant claims the state "deliberately, willfully, and maliciously engaged in a smear campaign against Swadley's Foggy Bottom Kitchen." They further say the state approached the Swadley’s in 2019 with a proposal to remodel and rebrand the restaurant.
The filing says the family was reluctant to take on the project due to the poor conditions of the parks restaurants until the state said it would absorb the costs of construction, losses, and advertising. The suit includes photos showing what they call horrible condition of the restaurants.
The suit claims the state was all in on the project until it became a "political hot potato" and decided to "pass the buck" onto Swadley’s. It says the state wrongfully terminated the agreement and the restaurant’s reputation is irreparably damaged.
Swadley's is seeking compensation for work performed, management and operation of the restaurant, breach of termination and damages caused by defamatory statements.
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