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January 26, 2013

Lawsuit filed in City Bistro, Landon dispute

GREENVILLE — The dispute between the owner of what had been a popular downtown Greenville restaurant and the owner of a winery next door has escalated.

The City Bistro has filed a lawsuit against the adjacent Landon Winery and owner Bob Landon, claiming Landon “invented” claims the restaurant broke its lease.

When reached Friday, Landon said he was unaware of the suit, but would be contacting his attorney regarding the litigation.

Earlier this month Landon said he was closing the City Bistro for about two weeks and intended to use the time to redo the restaurant’s kitchen, adding the closing was not connected to any financial problems. The restaurant was expected to reopen as the “Landon Bistro.” Landon said the eatery would feature the same menu and there would be no major changes made inside the restaurant.

According to a legal notice sent by McKinney attorney Philip M Ruais to the “Italian Bistro LLC”, the tenant was found to be in default for failure to comply with the terms of its lease of the property and therefore the lease itself was terminated.

But according to the suit filed Tuesday with the 354th District Court by attorney Raul Loya, Landon allegedly told the owner of the City Bistro, who was not named in the action, that he wanted to take over the restaurant.

“Defendant desired to take over the successful as if it was Defendant’s own without buying the restaurant from the Plaintiff and to this end they have, they have invented bizarre justifications for evicting Plaintiff from the property,” Loya argued in the suit.

Landon said he was aware the owner of the restaurant had indicated he intended to seek a trial by jury concerning the allegations he had broken the lease agreement, but had not heard the individual had gone so far as to file a formal lawsuit in the case. No hearing dates had been scheduled as of Friday evening.

The winery and restaurant opened inside the historic Greenville building in early 2010.

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