The Real Jerk Caribbean restaurant delays eviction
The Real Jerk Caribbean restaurant has won an injunction allowing it to remain at its east-end location until the end of the year after a month of protests and legal wrangling helped stave off eviction.
A ruling from a provincial court Wednesday evening said the restaurant had been at its location on Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue for 23 years and was not given appropriate warning from its new landlord to vacate the premises.
The restaurant had been ordered by the landlord to leave its current space by Jan. 31 to make way for another tenant.
A five-page ruling issued late Wednesday found that the landlord did not give the current tenant enough warning to establish itself at a new location and was given control of the property until March 2012, pending another settlement.
"This is what I always wanted. I just wanted a little more time to relocate and I now have that. Whatever happens from now on, I'm going to be looking for a new place to relocate the Jerk, hopefully in the neighbourhood," owner Ed Pottinger said.
At issue was the nature of the rental agreement that Pottinger had with the previous building's owner. The building's new owner, Bill Mandelbaum, said Pottinger only had a month-to-month lease arrangement.
When Mandelbaum bought the building, located at the intersection of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue, Mandelbaum gave Pottinger one month's notice to leave the space.
Pottinger was supposed to have cleared out of the building by Tuesday. The new tenant, an Irish pub, was to move in on Wednesday with a goal of opening by March 17, St. Patrick's Day.
The pub would have paid about twice the rent Pottinger was paying for the space. The judge ruled that Pottinger would need to make up the amount.
Pottinger had asserted that he had a year-to-year arrangement with the previous owner. However, Pottinger did not have a formal lease.
More than 2,000 people signed a petition in support of the restaurant.
Coun. Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth) told reporters on Tuesday that the Real Jerk should have been given the opportunity to match the higher rent offered by the pub.
The ruling – which is subject to appeal – means 25 employees will not lose their jobs.