Roti Modern Mediterranean in Edina has not reopened or paid rent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, its landlord said in a lawsuit filed late last month.
In the March 22 complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, the landlord, 7000 France Avenue Edina, describes a series of events leading to the lawsuit, dating back to more than 12 months. Roti, a Chicago-based fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant, has not resumed operations at the Edina location, nor paid any rent since March 2020, the complaint states.
The landlord also said that the location had been underperforming even before the pandemic due to “poor management and low sales.”
The complaint asks for $50,000 in damages and other fees, any other monetary amounts that the court deems justifiable, and termination of Roti’s right to the premises in order for the landlord to re-let the property. The complaint does not state the lease terms.
The landlord’s attorney, Kyle Moen, declined to comment on the case. Roti Restaurants, LLC and its attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
The landlord said, in the lawsuit, that the tenant, Roti Restaurants, LLC, entered into a lease agreement for the property in November 2017. In December of 2019, the landlord sent an invoice to Roti, reflecting the monthly rent for 2020.
Then, in March, restaurants were forced to close for in-person dining but were still allowed to do takeout and delivery orders. Roti, located at 7000 France Ave. S., ceased all operations at this time, the landlord said.
Restaurants were allowed to resume in-person service in June, but Roti did not reopen, the lawsuit stated.
After repeatedly attempting to offer assistance to reopen or negotiate a proposal to repay the funds, the landlord states it went ahead with notices to end the restaurant’s right to the premises without terminating the lease. The two parties then entered a lease surrender and termination agreement in December, where Roti was supposed to pay for a termination fee. This did not occur, the landlord claims.
The landlord is suing Roti on three counts, including for breach of contract, a recovery of rent and a declaratory judgement wherein Roti’s right to the space is terminated but with the rest of the lease intact, so that the landlord can re-enter and re-let the property to new tenants.
Roti has other restaurants in Minnesota, Illinois, Texas and on the east coast. In Minnesota, locations that are still open are in St. Louis Park and at the University of Minnesota.
Roti in St. Louis Park also faced eviction in July of last year after not paying rent, the landlord, PK Investment Associates, LLC, noted in the civil complaint. The case was later voluntarily dismissed.
A court date for the Edina location’s lawsuit has not yet been set.
– Follow Caitlin Anderson on Twitter @EdinaSunCurrent