A Fan bar that has refused to die might have no choice by the end of this month.
The owner of the building that houses the Republic Restaurant & Bar at 2053 W. Broad St. is demanding the establishment pay the remaining 18 months of rent on its lease in full or risk eviction after May 23.
Matthew Appleget, the building’s owner, and his attorney Mark Shuford on April 23 issued a so-called “pay or quit” notice to Republic R&B LLC, stating the restaurant and its owner Tony Hawkins must pay the rent owed immediately or vacate the building. Republic owed more than $14,000 when the notice was issued, Shuford said.
“[Hawkins] is behind on his rent, and we’ve made an effort to get him caught back up,” Shuford said. “He made a number of promises, but, when the time was up, we still didn’t have the money.”
Appleget then filed an “unlawful detainer,” which means he’s accusing the business of occupying the building illegally because of lack of payment. The unlawful detainer is a step that allows landlords to legally evict tenants.
Charles Homiller, the attorney representing Hawkins, said his client was working with the landlord to resolve the issue but would not comment further.
Appleget is demanding the Republic pay almost $169,000, which would be the amount owed for the lease in its entirety. The lease expires in October 2014, Shuford said.
Should Hawkins and the Republic not get current, the business could avoid paying the entire amount if another tenant is found to take over the space and begins paying rent.
A hearing in Richmond General District Court has been set for May 23, when a judge could order the Republic to vacate the property.