Morgantown mall sues food court restaurant

MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown Mall is suing one of the restaurants in its food court for failing to pay rent.

Rob Abel, LLC, doing business as Dave’s Famous T&L Hot Dogs Burgers and Robert Able, individually, are the defendants in the suit filed Dec. 11 in Monongalia County Circuit Court by Morgantown Mall Associates Limited Partnership.

The suit alleges T&L has not paid rent since May 2018 and as of Dec. 1 will owe $33,655.61.

“Business has been on a decline,” Able said. “We haven’t been able to fully meet our obligation with rent. I’m hoping this is something we can clear up with the mall and keep doing business in the future.”

The Morgantown Mall is Able’s only T&L location and he has been operating out of the mall since 2000, he said.

T&L’s lease was signed Jan. 3, 2007 and modified on Dec. 1, 2011 and Dec. 12, 2016, according to the suit. The current lease is set to expire Jan. 31, 2020.

Monthly rent is $2,785.12 and is due on the first day of each month, the suit states. In addition to the base rent Able was responsible for occupancy charges for a sprinkler charge, common area expense, real estate taxes, landlord’s insurance charges, promotional fund and grease trap charge.

The lease assesses a $100 late charge, or 10 percent of the past due charge, whichever is greater, if rent is not paid on or before the due date, the suit states. It also charges 1.5 percent interest per month on all past due sums.

The mall sent a letter notifying T&L of its failure to pay rent on Oct. 23 and warning it was in default of the lease, the suit states. A second letter was sent on Nov. 19.

The suit asks for judgment for rent and occupancy charges in the amount of $31,230.95 owed through Nov. 1, 2018 and any rent payments accrued until the space is rented or until the lease ends and payment of utilities until the natural expiration of the lease.

It also asks the court find T&L breached the lease and the landlord has terminated it, the landlord can reenter the premises “fully evicting the Tenant” and the landlord can retain or dispose of any personal property including alterations, additions, improvements and trade fixtures attached in the leased premise.

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