Lease dispute leads to litigation for Minneapolis restaurant  

Kieran’s Irish Pub has been a staple in Minneapolis’ Block E since 2010. The popular restaurant moved there after signing a 10-year lease agreement. After changing hands — and its name — Block E, soon to be Mayo Clinic Square, has seen extensive construction. The building is being changed from an entertainment venue to a practice facility and sports medicine clinic servicing the Minnesota Lynx and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As a result of the construction, Kieran’s is claiming that it has seen a significant drop in its business. In fact, the restaurant is claiming that sales in Sept. 2014 were down 27 percent compared with Sept. 2013. The restaurant’s owner claims that construction debris and noise has turned off many customers. Additionally, the construction, the restaurant claims, has impeded people’s access to the restaurant. The restaurant claims that it may have to lay off some employees because of the slower numbers and traffic.

Therefore, the restaurant has taken legal action against its landlord — Block E’s owner. In this real estate litigation, the restaurant is asking for $50,000 in damages for the disruptions caused by the extensive renovations. In the suit, the restaurant claims that this type of construction was never agreed to in the lease agreement. In addition to the damages, the restaurant is also asking for an injunction that would stop the landlord from placing physical barriers in front of the restaurant during the construction. A $150,000 utility bill is also being disputed in the suit.

Landlord-tenant disagreements, like this one, are not uncommon in Minnesota. While many are not as public, lease disputes can still be very disruptive. In these cases, the terms of the lease agreement can become very important. Both landlords and tenants should make sure they understand their rights and obligations under the lease to avoid potentially costly real estate litigation.

Source: Star Tribune, “Kieran’s sues Block E developers over construction losses,” Kristen Leigh Painter, Oct. 21, 2014
Image Source: Star Tribune