In January, Rascal Flatts informed fans that they would not be moving forward with a proposed series of Rascal Flatts-themed restaurants. This week, a massive exposé by the Arizona Republic explains why, linking the venture to an alleged mobster named Frank Capri, who, according to the report, bilked developers out of money before construction was ever completed.
The CMA Award-winning trio — made up of members Joe Don Rooney, Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox — were not directly involved with the project and had no ownership in the chain. According to a statement by the group’s spokesperson to the Arizona Republic, the band only licensed their name to the project.
“The band terminated the license agreement and is no longer in business with this company or Mr. Capri,” the group’s publicist Kristie Sheppard Sloan said. “Rascal Flatts licensed use of their name, image and logo to the restaurant developer and had nothing to do with the construction or build out plans for these restaurants. The use of the Rascal Flatts name in association with restaurants owned by RF IP, LLC or Frank Capri is no longer authorized.”
The story also links Capri to Toby Keith’s restaurant chain, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. The Republic says companies owned by Capri built 20 restaurants with Keith’s name starting in 2009. Many have since closed, with locations still operating in Oklahoma and Las Vegas.
Popular on Rolling Stone
“You may have noticed our name was associated with a restaurant project,” Rascal Flatts wrote on Instagram in January. “We ended the agreement and do not have a business relationship with the developer. They are not authorized to use our name in any way. We wanted to be transparent to our fans in case there was any confusion related to our involvement in the restaurants.”
Rascal Flatts eateries were slated to be built in cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Des Moines and Orlando.