After Saturday night's No Last Call party, there's not a chance the Gold Dust Lounge is leaving the premises, at least not voluntarily. Attorneys for Handlery Hotels, Inc., owners of the property where the Gold Dust Lounge is located, have filed a claim against the Bovis brothers, who are refusing to leave the bar -- literally.
The Gold Dust Lounge was supposed to have last call on March 10 -- the day of its eviction. But instead of packing up and leaving, bar owners threw a huge day-long bash, where they kept the drinks coming.
The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in San Francisco, is the latest scuffle in this real estate war, which has pitted people who like to drink against those who like to shop, specifically at Express, the clothing store that's supposed to move into the Union Square space. Sam Singer, spokesman for the Handlery family, says yesterday's filing is the first step to ensuring the Gold Dust Lounge has last call.
Attorneys filed the unlawful detainer yesterday
after the Gold Dust Lounge "knowingly
violated the terms of the lease" and, according to the complaint, "refuses to vacate and surrender the premises" as promised.
"Handlery Hotels did not want to file this suit, but they were left with
no choice when the Gold Dust failed to honor their word and leave the
property as they expressly agreed to do in their lease," Singer said in a written statement.
Singer reiterated the facts for us: The Bovis brothers -- who are now in their 80s -- signed a lease in March of 2011 with the property owner, and specifically agreed to the following language: "Landlord shall have the right to terminate the Term of the Lease, as
amended by this Amendment, without cause, at any time, but with no less
than ninety (90) days prior written notice to Tenant." Singer said the Bovises were given notice in December 2011 to vacate by March 10.
But Bovises are not only keeping the bar open, they have also filed a lawsuit of their own, alleging the landlord altered the terms of their lease to include this language without their knowledge. Their attorneys are claiming the Handlery family took advantage of the Bovises' advanced age to alter the lease in a classic case of elder abuse.
Lee Houskeeper, spokesman for the Gold Dust Lounge, tells us that this suit was expected, but it won't stop them from pouring drinks. "Handlery is one of, if not the largest landlord in Union Square, and seems prepared to spend whatever it may cost him to remove two elderly Greek tenants who have paid their rent on time each month for 47 years," Houskeeper said."
"The Gold Dust Lounge is still pouring and her volunteer army of supporters are prepared to go the distance in this David vs. Goliath fight," he added.
So yes, the bar is open for business today -- go get your drink on while you can.
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