Well, here's a piece of advice to anyone who wants to open any kind of remotely trendy bar and/or eatery who doesn't particularly want to (a) succeed, (b) establish a "good" relationship with the landlord, and (c) appear in local news for the wrong reasons: Open a shop at CityPlace!
Last month, we reported on Brewzzi having continuing problems with the popular shopping center that started back in 2013 concerning the language of their lease agreements. The tit-for-tat lasted until earlier this month, when the mall evicted the award-winning brewery/restaurant and sent its employees to remove the signage and any trace of its existence. Brewzzi enjoyed 11 years of operation at CityPlace, and while marketing director Archie Stoltz found the proceedings "odd and unusual," they did try to work things out.
Well, things quite didn't work out for them, and now we are hearing the same song played on the dance floor, only this time CityPlace has a different dancing partner, Blue Martini.
Blue Martini has operated within CityPlace for 14 years and has, according to a statement issued by Blue Martini partner Byron Gardiner, "enjoyed a good working relationship" with the mall. This looks like another case of monies owed, as in the Brewzzi situation, but with CityPlace stating in the past that it was always willing to work with its tenants concerning the nature and arrangements of their leases; it's beginning to seem a little suspicious that it allows back rent to swell into such astronomic numbers.
CityPlace currently claims that the bar owes a rent figure slightly north of $140K as of the end of June, but they are holding on to a potential of working this out with the West Palm entity. Gardiner is clearly optimistic in his statement, "We are confident we can reach an amicable solution and have no intention of closing."
While Blue Martini remains open as of today, we can't help but feel that nagging sense of déjà vu in our collective guts. We've seen this dance play out before, and while trying to get someone on the phone representing CityPlace is akin to pulling teeth, we'll have to see this play out from the perspective of the tenants. We can only hope that they do work it out, but we're not too sure we can count on that as a realistic outcome.