LONG BRANCH - The owners of two restaurants in Pier Village in Long Branch say that they are being evicted from their properties because they aren’t fancy enough.
Corner Café and Bistro and Stewart’s Root Beer did not get their leases renewed, and now the owners are suing the property management. The owners say that they signed a lease last June and have been paying the higher rent for that lease ever since.
“We signed on the dotted line. We called month after month saying ‘Where’s our lease? Where’s our copy?’ and at the end of August we got a phone call saying ‘I’m sorry, but the landlord doesn’t want to honor the lease that you signed in our office,’” says Corner Café co-owner Michael Keating.
Since signing the lease, the owners have spent over $100,000 on improvements both inside and outside the restaurants.
Now they are suing Kushner Companies and Extell Development Company, the new owners of Pier Village.
“We have a lease and the lease is intact and we're running on it. We're not going to go anywhere,” says Stewart’s co-owner Daniel Pinheiro.
A spokesperson for Kushner Companies tells News 12 New Jersey that the leases have expired and the parties were unable to reach an agreement. "We are confident that the courts will recognize this suit has no merit,” the company said in a statement.
It is not clear if the restaurants will still be in Pier Village this summer.