AN unpleasant spat is threatening to unsettle the usually cordial atmosphere of Cafe de Paris, a slice of Gaul brought to D'Aguilar Street by ebullient septuagenarian Maurice Gardette in 1988. About 18 months ago, the bow-tied chef and businessman, renowned for his sharp tongue, announced that he had found a buyer for the restaurant, for which reservations are always necessary. A company called Bailer Ltd, based in the Turks and Caicos Islands, was to purchase Gardette's shares and his Parisian friends, Michel Bezardin and Chantal Borderie, would act as guarantors. It was all smiles at the time, with both sides expressing satisfaction with the $2.1 million asking price. However, Keeping Posted has learned that Gardette and his Korean wife, Kang Il-soon, who own a chateau in St Nazaire, France, are now rather grim-faced and have issued a High Court writ against their erstwhile associates. According to the document, Bailer agreed to pay for the shares in Cafe de Paris by 12 equal quarterly instalments on the first day of September, December, March and June of each year commencing on September 1, 1993. Furthermore, it says it was an implied term of the agreement that on default of payment of any instalment, the total balance of the outstanding sum would become due and payable, with Bezardin and Borderie responsible if Bailer failed to cough up. On November 30, 1994, Gardette and Kang reportedly demanded $207,360 as the quarterly instalment due on December 1, 1994, from Bailer. The writ goes on to say that on December 5 they, through their solicitors, demanded the money from Bailer, Bezardin and Borderie, but it failed to materialise. Gardette and Kang are now demanding more than $1.2 million in cash they say is owed to them, plus interest. It should make for an interesting court case.