Salt Spilled? Restaurant Landlord Alleges Unpaid Rent, Sues for Eviction [Updated 2x]

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Chrissy Wilmes
Salt (4356 Lindell Boulevard, 314-932-5787), Riverfront Times' "Best New Restaurant" in 2011 and a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's "Best New Restaurant" award for 2012, is embroiled in a legal battle with its landlord, according to court documents.

Updated with comment from Salt after the jump.

See Also:
- "Salt Restaurant Slapped With Federal Tax Lien"
- "Wes Johnson Leaves Salt"

On Monday, August 20, Ta Daa LLC, which owns the building Salt occupies at 4356 Lindell Boulevard, sued American Larder LLC (Salt's corporate entity) in civil court in the City of St. Louis for "unlawful detainer" -- essentially, occupying a property without the legal right to do so. (For the legal mumbo in jumbo form, see Revised Missouri Statutes, Chapter 534: Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer.)

According to a petition filed by attorney Hugh Eastwood representing the plaintiff, as of August 6 American Larder "was behind in rent (and late fees) $51,025.97."

After serving American Larder a notice of default on Wednesday, July 18, and giving the restaurant ten days to make repayment, on Monday, August 6, Ta Daa terminated the restaurant's lease. One week later Ta Daa gave the restaurant notice to vacate the premises by Friday, August 17. The restaurant did not -- and has not -- complied.

Update: (Tuesday, October 2, 3:30 p.m.) An important detail to add, again from plaintiff's own petition. According to court records, on Thursady, August 9, or three days after the termination of the lease, American Larder "through its lender Merchant Advance Funding made out of time and after lease termination a partial payment of $13,950.82" and on Tuesday, August 14, or one day after receiving the notice to vacate the premises, "made out of time and after lease termination another payment by wire of $37,075.15."

The two payments total the $51,025.97 figure referenced earlier. According to the filing, Ta Daa acknowledges receipt of both payments but still seeks "an unequivocal legal right to possession of the premises".

(Continue original post:)

Attorney Clay Scott Brinkman, representing American Larder, requested a hearing, which is now scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, in the courtroom of Judge Calea Stovall-Reid.

Attempts to reach Eastwood and Brinkman have so far been unsuccessful. More as we learn it.

Update 2: (Wednesday, October 3, 3:10 p.m.) Reached by phone this afternoon, Matt Obermark, co-owner of Salt, told Gut Check, "I'm not able to make a statement" at this time because the matter is still in litigation. (He did speak to Sauce on Tuesday, however, telling Ligaya Figueras, "We're not going out of business.") We were able to leave a message with Salt's attorney this afternoon, however. More as we hear it.

Page through to read the court filing against American Larder.


Location Info

Salt - CLOSED

4356 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
xmasbby66
xmasbby66

I'm really surprised RFT originally released this story without presumably first reading the Affidavit.  Your "Update", days later, was in fact not an update.  It was a retraction of the misinformation relayed to your readers indicating Salt was in arrears $51,025.97, which they are not.  Important detail indeed.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Good food and good business sense are not the same thing.

tjdunnigan
tjdunnigan

@ianfroeb That's a lot of $9 scallops.

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

 @xmasbby66 Actually, the article states that as of August 6, when the landlord terminated the lease, the restaurant still owed the $51,025.97. While I admit we should have included the repayment information in the original post, it doesn't change the factual chronology laid out in Ta Daa LLC's suit. Indeed, one might raise an eyebrow that the landlord proceeded with an "unlawful detainer" suit even after acknowledging receipt of the owed $51,025.97.

 

(Also to be technical about it, the suit is seeking double rent for the month of August and each month until the restaurant surrenders the premises.) 

 

Again, though, we appreciate the criticism. We should've included this information in the original post.

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