Owner Brian Williams just sent this statement:
I am announcing with a bit of sadness, that Michael Martensen has left The Cedars Social, Smyth, and soon to open The Establishment to move on to his own endeavors. We are grateful for everything that Michael has done to make us the success that we are and wish him the very best. We are positive that his new ventures will continue to bring him all of the continued success that he deserves and we support his decision 100%. The Cedars Social, Smyth and The Establishment will continue our commitment to serving exceptional drinks and providing a superior experience for our guests.
In the meantime, I chose to close Smyth for only a week to retool and bring in additional bartenders and management.
Update: Central Track reports the staffs of both establishments staged a walked out last night and shut both places down. The site says:
Citing creative differences, the workers said that things had come to a philosophical business crest at their South Lamar Street and reservation-only Travis Street workplaces, that a final straw had been pulled.Details are hardly specific at the moment; the combined staffs promise a press release coming possibly as soon as Tuesday, one aimed at formally announcing their decision to jump ship. But the workers — talkative, yet preferring not to be directly quoted individually for the time being — were quick to reassure that their departure had been a “singular motion.” The bartenders also teased the likelihood of upcoming pop-up bar events as they search, perhaps together, for new work homes.
Update: I contacted Michael Martensen. He sends this reply:
“I’d like to congratulate my team for the amazing success in creating and executing the cocktail programs at both The Cedars Social and Bar Smyth that garnered national recognition. In fact, in many ways, their efforts have established Dallas as a city with one of the most innovative cocktail programs in the country. We, as a team, have decided to pursue new opportunities that have presented themselves over the past several months and begin the next chapter of our professional careers. We are excited to announce these new projects in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned.”