The company that owns the downtown property occupied by Hoffbräuhaus St. Petersburg has sued to evict the restaurant.
Bavarian Partners, which signed a 15-year lease for the site at 123 4th St. S. in January, has not paid rent since Aug. 1, according to a lawsuit filed in Pinellas County Circuit Court by WG St. Pete LLC, the property owner.
Bavarian Partners owed $42,392 in rent and late fees as of Oct. 4, when the lawsuit was filed. Bavarian Partners “has refused or otherwise failed to pay the rentals due and still refuses or otherwise fails to do so,” the lawsuit said.
The lease was signed by Daniel J. Woods, manager of WG St. Pete, and by A. Tamer Afr, manager of Bavarian Partners. No contact information could be found for Afr, and managers at the restaurant did not return calls from the St. Pete Catalyst asking for additional information or comment.
WG St. Pete also is suing Big Boy Franchise Management LLC, which signed a guarantee saying it would pay all sums due under the lease. David Crawford, a veteran of Outback Steakhouse and Checker’s Drive-In Restaurants, both in Tampa, was named CEO of Big Boy in 2018, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. A call for comment from Crawford was pending return.
Hoffbräuhaus St. Petersburg opened in 2015, shortly after the owners of Hoffbräuhaus Chicago paid $2.7 million to purchase the building that once housed the Tramor Cafeteria, according to The Crow’s Nest. It was being used by the Tampa Bay Times as a staff cafeteria and meeting place at the time. The 16,000-square-foot location now features a beer hall, beer garden and event room.
The original owners from Chicago later sold the business to Bavarian Partners.
In addition to not paying rent since August, WG St. Pete said in the lawsuit that Bavarian Partners defaulted on its lease by allowing an $8,727 lien to be filed on the property by a drywall services firm.
WG St. Pete said it served a three-day notice of default letter to Bavarian Partners Sept. 18. On Sept. 26, the landlord followed up with a notice of acceleration, giving Bavarian Partners five days to pay accelerated rent due of $7.1 million. “Tenant has failed to pay the accelerated rent amounts due and the cure period for doing so has expired,” the lawsuit said.
WG St. Pete asked a Pinellas County judge to rule that Bavarian Partners as the tenant has breached its contract, to pay back rent due and to allow WG St. Pete to take possession of the property. It also asked the judge to find a breach of contract against Big Boy Franchise Management.
Pinellas County court records show Bavarian Partners was served with the lawsuit on Oct. 9. The company has not filed a court response.