Alex Stupak, the chef and co-owner of the three Empellón restaurants in Manhattan, signed an agreement on Tuesday to take over Salvation Taco, the popular taqueria in the Pod 39 Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
The restaurant and its open-air rooftop bar have been run by the restaurateur Ken Friedman and the chef April Bloomfield since 2012, but their empire is shrinking. The two pulled out of Salvation Burger, a restaurant in the Pod 51 Hotel, last July. In December, reports that Mr. Friedman had sexually harassed employees came to light.
In March, Salvation Taco suddenly closed for what was described as a “spring cleaning.” Last week, the hotel’s co-owner said Mr. Friedman and Ms. Bloomfield’s contract had been terminated. Mr. Stupak will run the restaurant, which is owned by the hotel.
Mr. Stupak said in an interview that the restaurant’s name and menu would not change immediately. “I’m there now, but only behind the scenes,” he said. Salvation Taco has more than 60 employees, led by the longtime chef de cuisine Davri Zainoeddin; they will remain in place.
In the fall, Mr. Stupak said, he will most likely convert the restaurant to one along the lines of Empellón al Pastor, which focuses on tacos, cocktails and bar snacks from the Mexican and American traditions. “There has been no dialogue about cuisine here for quite a while, so I’m looking forward to changing that,” he said.