Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not Exactly Well Done

Last night, over beers with a few commercial real estate colleagues at Nick’s Fish House in Baltimore, the subject of Jordan’s Steakhouse abrupt closing came up.

“The landlord can’t just lock the tenant out without a court order,” Beano explained. “Maryland law is highly favorable to the tenant in these cases. Jordan may well have been within his rights to simply break back in and reopen.”

I should note here that Beano is an asset manager for a national real estate investment trust. He knows a thing or two about commercial landlord / tenant law.

That led me to think that there is more to this story than a simple dispute over a little rent. Reading through the comments posted to the blog Dining at Large , it appears that Jordan Naftel may have stiffed more than just the landlord.

Unfortunately, it is not that uncommon for a restaurant owner to walk away from one Limited Liability Corporation and its debts and then simply turn around and start up another with a clean slate.


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