PROSPECT HEIGHTS — A popular chicken and waffles brand backed by the rapper Nas owes a real estate agency $50,000 in commission after it went behind the broker's back and signed a lease for its planned Prospect Heights location, according to a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court.
Benny Blanco, Inc., which is affiliated with Branded Concept Development, helped Sweet Chick find its new outpost at Carlton and Flatbush avenues last July, the suit charges, and “entered into a certain commercial brokerage arrangement,” from which it is owed the commission.
"We were very excited about working with them. We were fans of the brand. We were fans of the food. We were fans of Nas. So it resonated with us," BCD president Andrew Moger told DNAinfo New York on Feb. 14.
"The opportunity to work with them seemed like a good fit, which made the alleged circumvention even more painful."
Moger, 46, and his lawyer, Charles Platkin, said they found out they were "circumvented" out of the process after reading a DNAinfo story published in December saying a lease had been signed for the new location.
The eatery, which was founded by John Seymour and Sam Saleh, has two other locations, in Williamsburg and the Lower East Side.
Seymour did not respond to an inquiry about the lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 10.
Seymour told DNAinfo at a Community Board 8 meeting in December that he “drove down that block a number of times and saw that space,” which he described as “really dope.”
Nas partnered with the brand in 2015 to help it expand.
BCD has been around for 15 years and helps with real estate brokerage and management for clients including Five Guys, Calexico and Dinosaur BBQ, according to its website, the lawsuit and state records.
Moger was the former president and COO of Two Boots and was an investor in The Smith and Bustler Coffee, according to the website.
"The nature of restaurants in society has gotten more and more important year after year," Moger said. "It's a very exciting arena to work in."