Tuesday, January 22, 2013

California Taqueria On Court Street Obviously Angered Its Landlord

photo-2
Oh, boy!  A reader sent me the photo above, which was taken on Monday afternoon.
It would appear that California Taqueria at 187 Court Street at Bergen Street, has angered its landlord, who has gone to great lengths to shame the Mexican eatery for non-payment of rent.
A car, presumably owned by the landlord, was parked right across from the restaurant.  It sported a huge sign on its roof, announcing that California Taqueria owes $312,000 in back rent, refuses to pay up and "continues to abuse the landlord, a WWII Vet."
Think this will help or will it drive away customers, making it even harder for the restaurant to pay the rent?




25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw this over the weekend as well, and I don't understand why the landlord didn't move to evict this business rather than wait until it had accrued such a massive amount of unpaid rent. It's really unlikely he will ever see that money now, but he could surely get a new and better tenant in such a good location.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 sides to every story. I would be interested to hear California Taqueria's side. Somehow I doubt they have just stopped paying rent and have yet to be evicted.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:16 - HA. You must have never tried to evict someone in NYC. I have a store that has not paid their (below-market) rent in 18 months...and my lawyers are telling me it could be another 6-12 months before I get possession of the store back.

Meanwhile, the store makes more money every day, and I'm stuck paying a mortgage out of my own pocket, with no rent coming in.

But yeah, landlords are greedy at the St. Clair...

Anonymous said...

??? $312,000 how many years is this for??? Even if they pay $6000 a month(and I'm just guessing the rent) It would have taken more then 4 years to accumulate such a debt. Somethings not kosher.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. They have been there for 20 years. And are nice people and way better than the slop at Buddy's Burrittos.
I can't see a Latino Buainess owner being abusive. Or maybe I'm naive. If I could spell naive.

Anonymous said...

@1:09PM - as both a residential and commercial landlord myself, my advice to you is to get a new attorney. i'm not saying it's easy, or that the system is not incredibly frustrating and truly unfair to the landlords in many situations, but I've seen non-paying RESIDENTIAL tenants evicted, in the Bronx, in affordable housing units, with young children, in under 24-30 months. I agree with the other commenters that something is not kosher here. Especially for a commercial tenant in Cobble Hill Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

the LL is tacking on his legal fees to the rent and additional rent accrual, usually allowed in 'loser pays' language in a commercial lease.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that for the past five years, this veteran has been fighting in the brooklyn courts to evict this tenant to no avail as he is well connected as a former lawyer. What you are now seeing are the actions of an 88 yr. old veteran on a fixed income attemting to draw attention to this very well orchestrated abuse of the legal system.

Anonymous said...

I love how the LL feels it necessary to indicate that he's a WW2 vet, as if that has any bearing on the actual merits of the case

Anonymous said...

Maybe this landlord, since he has't received any justice utilizing our court system, maybe he will win in the court of public opinion, even if that doesn't pay bills.

Anonymous said...

The business owner is not Latino, the Landlord is but who cares- non payment of owed rent is non payment
of rent~

Anonymous said...

just read an interesting post on commercial observer.com) that gives some meat to the alleged LL complaint. It should be read.

Anonymous said...

What is going on in our landlord/tenant court system that may perpetuate this type of abuse to occur over a span of 4-5 years? Perhaps an investigation into this matter may be the BIG story.

Carol Gardens said...

I saw the car parked today with the landlord sitting in the front seat. I read the Observer article and now I am even more confused! I eat there a lot (although their tortilla are dry) as there are fewer and fewer reasonably priced eating option around here, with the ever accelerating coming of the fanciness.

http://commercialobserver.com/2013/01/california-taqueria-and-landlord-battle-in-brooklyn/

Anonymous said...

This elderly landlord and WW2 Vet. is to be commended for doing all he can to try to stop the abussive tactics of this seemingly well connected tenant. I googled Corruption in NYS Judiciary I was horrified.

Anonymous said...

There are always two sides of every story, but seeing how the LL (an 88 yr old) is at a point where he is sitting in his car in the dead of winter to simply draw attention in an effort to disparage the business says something.

When it comes to Commercial properties and rent-disputes I can't fathom why the system would allow a non-paying commercial tenant to still operate their business knowing they are delinquent on their rent! That's simply absurd (speaking outside of this specific case)

Being a residential LL, and having been through the eviction process, I understand it can take a while. The system is inefficient and not entirely fair to the LL, but it eventually works itself out. We're talking about removing people from what they call a home, so honestly I understand why it's a long winded process. But to even read about how a commercial tenant could somehow abuse a legal system enough to not pay rent for close to 5 years and to continue to stay open and operate, at this point probably at a profit, is sickening at best.

The Anon who mentioned the bigger story possibly being the corruption inside the NYS lanlord/tenant court is truly on to something.

BrooklynMF said...

Court will have to decise this and I will avoid going there (did about once every month or two for family) for now.
I do agree that throwing in the WWII vet is getting very old and makes a reasonable argument sound like a bad courtroom drama closing argument. If his assertions are true and we need to know he was a veteran to deserve his payment, this is sad. If valid, I'd stand behind Trump on such a fight (and I despise the Donald)

Anonymous said...

Having worked with WWII veterans I think the reference made to LL veteran status, may have been intended to highlight a deep feeling held by many, that when you've served your country honorable and have played by the rules all your life you expect the :system to work with you and not against you. I buy that?

Anonymous said...

When i'm hungry and wanting merxican food on the fly, i will think twice about stepping into Cafifornia Taqueria. Yes, there are two sides to every story, but I agree, there's something fishy going on here, allegedly, 4/5 yrs. still operating w/o rent payment and still in the Brooklyn court system, WHAT IS UP WITH THIS. Walked by and saw this elderly man in his signed car in the freezing cold and I thought to myself "as a Cobble Hill resident I don't want to continue to support this establishment until it"s resolved. "

Anonymous said...

Was in the immediate neighborhood the other day, checked out this establishment, ordered a dish, service and food were aweful. Give that LL his money and close your doors. Neighborhood deserves better.

Anonymous said...

I've been following the cmments on this story since I read the original article by Karsten Strauss of 1/23. In it, he mentions tha a proceeding to force the issue is scheduled to be taken up in court on Jan. 30th. Does anyone know the outcome?

Anonymous said...

Interesting info, just learned that the owner of the California Taqueria, who allegedly is operating w/o a lease and refusing to budge was the ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY AT QUEENS COUNTY from 1984 to 1989. This story is starting to make some sense to me as a concerned citizen. 4/5 years involved in the court system and still not resolved and STILL ALLOWED TO OPERATE WITHOUT PAYING RENT. Yes, there are 2 sides to every story. I'm beginning to get one side of it.

Anonymous said...

The real truth here is that the Taqueria are good people and the landlord is a historically abusive and bitter man. Ask any oldtimer in the neighborhood and NoONE has anything good to say about him. He did this same thing w prior tenant years ago. it seems Landlords karma has come to settle squarely on his shoulders. I hope the taqueria stays still one of the best burritos anywhere.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who claims to know the real truth: The occupant prior to the California Taqueria was the Landlord who ran his T.V. repair shop, and I believe his CPA who is the author of the lease that expired in 2008. Also the so called "nice people" received a
$50,000 settlement from the landord's insurance company on an alleged water leak and were forced to settle because of what these nice people didn't want the insurance company looking into. Also nice people don't lock an old man in his basement trying to force a lease out of him. Also nice people don't keep playing the system buying time while an old man pays all of the Taqueria's water bills and taxes and insurance on the peoperty from a fixed income. Nice people don't continue to play the system to hold on to what is not legally, or morally theirs. How do these nice people sleep at night???!!!

Anonymous said...

The owner of California Taqueria is a former attorney and well connected in the Brooklyn Court House and has managed to keep this case in limbo since 2008 with insidious practices. He is hoping the owner dies and then he will be able to squeeze out a few more years of free rent, tax and water while the property ownership goes through new channels of transferring the property deed. The Landlord is the victim here and he needs to hold on because the abuse cannot and will not go on. A reliable source has it that this case is part of an court house criminal investigation.