Three CityPlace tenants fend off evictions

Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille at CityPlace recently brought aboard a new food operator, which is a good thing for the bowling alley’s financial future: Late last year, Revolutions quietly fended off not one but two eviction lawsuits filed against it by CityPlace, according to court records.

Revolutions isn’t alone. Two restaurants, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Miami Grill, also were sued for eviction by CityPlace, in West Palm Beach.

In November, CityPlace Retail sued Revolutions, alleging it was behind on the rent by $141,255 as of October 12, 2016. The Palm Beach County Court lawsuit was settled within days.

But the very next month, CityPlace sued Revolutions again, this time for $78,632.

That figure represents one month’s base rent of $56,250, plus taxes, plus an extraordinary $10,441 in back payments for chilled water for the HVAC system. Monthly chilled water costs are $8,739, according to documents in the case.

This lawsuit was settled, too.

Bruce Frank, Revolutions chief executive, said bowling lane business has been strong. But it’s the food that has struggled to make its mark in a center crowded with competing restaurants.

Late last year, Frank teamed up with Burger & Beer Joint of Boca Raton to offer burgers and other fare to bowlers and visitors. B&B also opened up an outdoor Flair Street bar at Revolutions, featuring bartenders tossing drinks in the air along the lines of that fine Tom Cruise film, “Cocktail.”

(The B&B venture has not been without controversy: A Burger & Beer Joint franchisee recently filed a demand for arbitration against the parent company, alleging its franchise was terminated as part of a scheme by B&B to team up with the bowling alley.)

Live music, plus the new food and drink additions, should boost Revolutions fortunes, said Frank, who leads Frank Entertainment Group, based in Jupiter.

“We continue to invest in the project and believe in it,” Frank said. “We are working with the landlord to create the best environment that is financially fair to both sides. We invested $7 million in the project. We have to get something.”

Also sued for eviction in 2016 were a Moe’s Southwest Grill franchise location (allegedly late on the rent to the tune of $38,331) and a Miami Grill franchise (late for $103,294 in rent, the suit claimed.) Both matters were settled.

Dan Finlayson, the Palm Beach Gardens-based franchisee for Miami Grill and the former franchisee of Moe’s, attributed the lawsuits to “personal matters.” Finlayson said he’s settled his debts with CityPlace. In December, he sold Moe’s to another operator.

Since CityPlace’s inception in 2000, the housing, shopping and dining center has been a revolving door of stores and eateries. The 9/11 attacks, the recession, the lack of a convention center hotel, competition from restaurants on Clematis Street and now shifting retail habits by shoppers who prefer e-shopping to the real thing all have battered CityPlace.

Then in January, the center suffered another blow when Macy’s announced it was closing the CityPlace store, which was shuttered in March.

The Macy’s shutdown hurt the center and its tenants, Frank said: “When you close the only department store in the development, people think this whole place is going out of business.”

Sources say most of the tenants at CityPlace are on percentage rent, which means they pay rent based upon a percentage of gross sales. CityPlace’s owners, which include developer The Related Cos., are trying to work out a troubled $150 million construction loan on the project. The loan slipped into default last July and now is in special servicing.

Finlayson has some insight into how CityPlace and its tenants are faring.

“I know CityPlace is having some issues attracting customers, but I think it’s more with the larger restaurants in CityPlace. Moe’s and Miami Grill are two of the smaller stores in the plaza and things are good,” he said.

A Related Cos. official declined to comment on the litigation.







Should your neighborhood Outback, Bonefish or Carrabba’s close?

Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse

More than 40 Outback, Bonefish or Carrabba’s restaurants will be closing. Should your neighborhood place be one of those?

Bloomin’ Brands Inc., which owns the chains, said last Friday that it will close the restaurants located in various parts of the country.

In Palm Beach County:

Outback has six locations in Jupiter (103 A-1 US 1), Palm Beach Gardens (10933 N. Military Trail), Royal Palm Beach (11101 Southern Blvd.), Lake Worth (6266 Lantana Road), Delray Beach (1300 Linton Blvd.), and Boca Raton (6030 SW 18 Street).

Bonefish Grill has four locations in Palm Beach Gardens (4635 PGA Blvd.), Wellington (9897 Lake Worth Road), Boynton Beach (1880 N. Congress Ave.) and Boca Raton (21065 Powerline Road).

Carrabba’s Italian Grill has five locations in North Palm Beach (11201 US 1), Royal Palm Beach (11141 Southern Blvd.) Boynton Beach (1999 N. Congress Ave.), Delray (355 E. Linton Blvd.) Boca Raton (6909 SW 18 St.)

So, tell us, is your neighborhood location busy or dead? Would it be foolish to close it?

Bloomin’ Brands has not yet released a list of the restaurants that are to be closed. But, if you’re wondering what are the odds your local spot will be among the 40, the company owns more than 1,500 restaurant locations.

Canceled flights at an all-time low, feds say

If you booked a flight in September that was canceled, your experience was one of a dwindling number, according to a new report from the federal government.

Among reporting air carriers, just .3 percent of scheduled domestic flights were canceled in September — the lowest for the past 261 months with similar records since January 1995, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

September’s canceled flights also were down from the same month last year, when .4 percent of flights were canceled, and from August of this year, when 1.4 percent of flights were canceled.

POLL: Should you clap when your plane lands?

A few other notes from the DOT’s September air traffic report:

How many flights were on time? In September, 85.5 percent of flights were on-time. That’s down from 86.5 percent in September 2015 and up from 77.6 percent in August this year.

How many airlines reported extended delays? No carriers reported tarmac delays of more than three hours for domestic flights or more than four hours on international flights.

Why were flights delayed? The most common causes of flight delays were aviation system issues, late-arriving aircraft, extreme weather, security reasons, and maintenance or crew problems.

How many bags were mishandled? The mishandled baggage rate for September was 2.23 reports per 1,000 passengers, down from 2.41 in September 2015 and 3.15 in August of this year.