The Real Jerk restaurant isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but will be moving to a new location in the New Year.
The restaurant’s public relations manager Rob Davis, said Real Jerk owner Ed Pottinger has his eye on several possible new locations.
“I think they’ve started some preliminary negotiations,” said Davis.
The Queen Street and Broadview Avenue restaurant, known for the bright, smiling sun mural on its southeast corner, was granted an injunction in February, allowing them to continue operating at their current location following a Dec. 30, 2011 eviction notice that ordered them to move out within a month.
Pottinger has been a tenant for more than 20 years. His legal team argued that as a year-to-year tenant, they needed a year’s notice to be evicted.
“Technically the injunction allows them until the 31st (of December),” Davis said. “If the landlord doesn’t give him a termination notice for the 31st, he may be able to stay longer.”
Pottinger and his lawyer are continuing to argue the case in court. They had an April court date, but that has been pushed back.
“What’s happening now, is that case is kind of still around, and unfortunately for both sides these things take a long time,” Davis said.
Pottinger is looking at locations nearby and out of the neighbourhood, having to take into consideration establishment zoning, available parking and acquiring a liquor licence.
“All of those things take time and cost money to do,” he said. “If a suitable location shows up sooner, then the landlord may have his wish.”
The restaurant owner is hoping to find a new location sooner rather than later because as of March 1, he has had to pay $5,700 per month to the courts, the difference in rent from what Pottinger was paying and the agreed upon monthly rent for the new tenant. If Pottinger’s suit is successful, he’ll recoup the extra rent, but if it isn’t, the money will go to the building’s owner.
Pottinger, who was on vacation at the time of publication, told the Town Crier the night he announced his legal victory that the restaurant has been open throughout almost the whole ordeal and that’s not going to change.
“It’s been tiring,” he said. “Amongst everything, I had to run a restaurant. I’ve been here every night.”
The restaurant has enjoyed a renewed interest since it received significant media coverage following its court case. Davis points out that the restaurant’s Twitter account jumped from just over 100 followers in January to more than 850 today.
They also had a good turn out to their first ever St. Patrick’s Day event, where they changed their slogan from “Everything will be irie” to “Everything will be Irish” for a day.
“There was this kind of irony of being (purchased) by an Irish pub and hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party,” Davis said. “So that was one thing we wanted to promote to demonstrate that there’s no hard feelings.”
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