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Brennan's Up for Auction, Feuding Fam Headed to Court

The long battle between Ted and Owen “Pip” Brennan is coming to a head on May 23, when the famed French Quarter restaurant Brennan's is to be sold at a sheriff’s auction, according to a complaint filed in federal court on May 11. Facing extreme debt and possible foreclosure, Ted Brennan and his daughter, Bridget Brennan Tyrell, are seeking a court order to ban Owen “Pip” Brennan and his two sons, Blake and Clark, from doing so much as entering the building.


Last month, a shareholder’s meeting got heated, and police were called to the restaurant to mediate. Tomorrow, federal Judge Susie Morgan will hear the testimony of the competing relatives.


Pip and Ted are the two grandsons of Brennan’s founder, Owen Edward Brennan, and sons of John Brennan. The original owner bought the building in 1943, marking the beginning of a long line of restaurateurs that make up what has become a culinary dynasty in New Orleans. Dick Brennan Sr. is another famous son of Owen Edward Brennan.


The rift in the family dates back to the 1950’s, but tensions have been mounting since The Storm. In December 2010, Ted and his daughter became the sole controllers of the business, and Pip sold all of his shares in compliance with a settlement reached between the two parties. However, Pip is now suing for control over his shares and to maintain voting power within the company, citing a failure for Ted and Bridget to abide by payment agreements reached in the 2010 decision.


From 1995 to 2005, Pip’s sons, Blake and Clark, managed the business. Following The Storm, the pair left their post. However, the brothers’ lawyer claims that Blake and Clark stopped working after Ted told them that they would never obtain any ownership of the company. 


On April 26, the first Friday of JazzFest Pip and his sons allegedly “refused to leave the premises (absent handcuffs),” according to the complaint, filed by Ted and Bridget. Police were called to the scene, and the debacle ultimately made Ted’s son Teddy and Pip’s son Blake temporary managers leading up to tomorrow’s court battle.


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