A new restaurant will soon open where the Republic fell.
The Pig & Pearl leased the space at 2053 W. Broad St., according to an announcement released Tuesday. The building formerly housed the Republic Restaurant & Bar, which vacated the property in July after bankruptcy and a legal battle with landlord Mathew Appelget.
Appelget is an investor in and owner of Pig & Pearl along with Washington-based chef Rich Gunter.
“We are aiming to elevate two southern staples, pork and oysters, to a new status of upscale dining,” Appelget said in a prepared statement.
Neither Appelget nor Gunter could be reached for comment by press time.
The eatery will have an oyster bar, whiskey bar and a cigar lounge. It is expected to have a soft opening next month, according to the release.
The storefront has sat largely vacant since April. Republic endured a bankruptcy, two government lockouts over unpaid taxes, and the dispute between Appelget and Republic’s owner, Tony Hawkins.
Appelget issued Hawkins a “pay or quit” notice April 23, which required Hawkins to pay the more than $14,000 he owed in back rent or leave the property.
Appelget then filed an “unlawful detainer,” accusing the business of occupying the building illegally because of lack of payment. Taking that step allows landlords to evict tenants. Appelget demanded the Republic pay almost $169,000 to cover the lease in its entirety through October 2014.
The dispute went to court and ended when Hawkins chose not to contest the unlawful detainer filing.