A local restaurant owner claims business wrongfully evicted - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/21/10

A local restaurant owner claims business wrongfully evicted

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A local restaurant owner says her business was wrongfully evicted and left without answers why. "We developed a lot of friendships and it's been hard, but it will be ok," says His Mexican Grill owner, Melinda Garcia.

His Mexican Grill, located downtown, filed a lawsuit against the property owner claiming they fully complied with their lease and were wrongfully evicted.

The two women who own His Mexican Grill say they started their business this past June to help pay for their father's bills after he was diagnosed with leukemia. But on September 5th the owners had to leave town for a funeral. They decided to close the restaurant by posting a note saying they would re-open September 20th. Only to return only to find their locks had been changed.

"Our hopes are to reopen and continue serving our customers. Hopefully that's what's next," says His Mexican Grill owner, Brenda Cortez.

His Mexican Grill was a top performer on KCBD NewsChannel 11's Food for Thought. Brenda Cortez and Melinda Garcia the owners of the restaurant say the business was their window of opportunity and the root to something bigger.

"They had a death in the family and had to close their business down to shut it down temporarily. And when they came back the landlord had locked them out," says His Mexican Grill lawyer, Ted Liggett.

On September 8th the business owners say they made their rent payment after dealing with the family loss.  "It's basically that simple. They were in full compliance with their lease," says Liggett. "We had no other option but to file this lawsuit and we filed that today.We're asking that these folks be allowed to get back into their building or that they be compensated so they can start back up some place else."

According to the lawsuit, on September 27th the landlord, P and Y Incorporated, sent a letter to the His Mexican Grill owners about alleged discord between them and a crack in the window which existed before the lockout. His Mexican Grill says they were not notified about a breach of contract or given any notice of the eviction.

"All of their equipment is inside there. So they can't get back in to restart their business nor can they relocate because all of their equipment is in there. They are just at a literal stand still," says Liggett.

Cortez and Garcia say the restaurant had a thriving downtown clientele, catering to those who love Mexican food.

"We would just like to apologize to our customers on behalf of his Mexican grill that all of this is happening. It's affecting all of us," says Cortez.

To see the court documents filed, CLICK HERE.

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