Food News

There's That Eatzi's Lawsuit We Were Looking For

Last week we told you all about the shuttering of every Eatzi's location across the U.S. save for the Oak Lawn mothership, which founder Phil Romano's in the process of taking control of. But we just knew this story wasn't going to have an entirely happy ending, and after trolling for lawsuits, well, we found one after all.

Filed last week in federal court in Minnesota, it's styled Farnam Street Financial, Inc. v. Eatzi's LLC et al , and while it's not the sexiest lawsuit in the world -- it's over a broken lease agreement at the Eatzi's location in Chicago and the use of some equipment there -- the amount of money the Minnesota-based Farnam Street Financial wants is a hot figure indeed: $4,238,644.10 in overdue lease money and "accelerated rent payments."And Farnam wants back all its equipment, for which Eatzi's was paying $127,000 a month in rent.

Included in the filings is a missive sent from Farnam Street to Cliff Smith, the CEO of Carrollton-based Eatzi's (which is no longer, as we were told last week). It was mailed November 8, by which time Smith knew the company was closing up shop, and the employees -- and the folks to whom Eatzi's owed money -- did not. But my favorite information found in the massive filing were the three news stories written about the stores' closings and Romano's comeback: one from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, another from the Dallas Business Journal and, yup, Unfair Park's interview with Romano. Ours was the first item included in the exhibit. Pride -- so that's how it feels. --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky