3rd UPDATE: Levis Commons shuts down Andrew Z restaurantWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hill Partners Inc., the leasing agent at the Town Center at Levis Commons, has shut down Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria Sept. 30.
Representatives from Hill Partners showed up around 7:15 a.m., kicked out the employee working and changed the locks, said owner Andrew Zepeda. In addition, the outdoor sign was removed and plastic was placed over all the windows at the pizzeria, according to a news release issued by Michelle Zepeda, wife of the radio personality.
Andrew Zepeda was three months behind on rent, due to management theft issues, amounting to $50,000, he said. The restaurant had been working on the situation with Hill Partners and had paid for September, Zepeda told Toledo Free Press. The alleged theft is currently being investigated by the Perrysburg Police and Zepeda could recover insurance money upon the investigations completion, Zepeda said.
Zepeda claims he received no notice prior the morning’s eviction. According to the Ohio Tenant Landlord law the landlord must give notice 3 days prior eviction to a residence, but a commercial enterprise may be closed without notice “as long as there is no breach of the peace.”
According to online records no case has been filed against Zepeda in the Wood County or Perrysburg Municipal Court. According to Toledo Municipal Court records, a supplier, R&R Food Equipment Maintenance Co., filed suit in small claims court on Aug. 3, seeking $1,590 for unpaid services.
The restaurant had been working on an amendment to the lease with Hill Partners to pay back the $35,066.17 in overdue rent. According to Zepeda’s lawyer, Beau Harvey, Zepeda had been working on the agreement since August, but it wasn’t signed by both parties until Sept. 21.
The amendment concluded that in addition to monthly rent Zepeda would be required to pay $1,500 a week. Zepeda had paid September’s rent and had money to pay October’s rent, he said. The question is whether the $1,500 would have been due this past week, which according to the amended agreement wouldn’t have been due yet, Harvey said.
Zepeda and his mother, Maxine Zepeda, who provided her retirement funds for the restaurant, don’t believe they received the proper notice of the eviction. Zepeda originally claimed he received no notice prior the morning’s eviction and during a press conference said he was sent a certified letter Monday to his home, but never saw the pink slip.
Harvey said Hill Partners was bound by a section in the lease that required them to serve notice to the location. Even if a notice was sent to Zepeda’s house that wasn’t picked up, Hill Partners would have needed to send a notice to the pizzeria concurrently, Harvey said.
Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria was the only restaurant owned by the morning show host that was still open. The chain’s Downtown and Defiance locations were closed a month ago due to performance issues, Zepeda said.
On Oct 1., Zepeda will ask the court for a temporary order allowing him to reenter and continue operating his business, Harvey said.
Zepeda hopes to have a temporary location opened by 5 p.m. on Oct. 1 so his employees can continue to make money.
“In this economy everyone is living paycheck to paycheck and they can’t afford to be without a paycheck so my job despite these out of town guys that don’t get it… we’re going to be open tomorrow if I can do anything about it,” he said.
Levis Commons issued the following statement: “Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria is no longer a tenant at The Town Center at Levis Commons. As to the future of this retailer, we have not been made aware of their plans. Based upon future potential litigation as threatened by Andrews Z’s, there will be no further comment.”