Imagine nursing an Old Fashioned as you sit on an outdoor deck on a crisp fall day and enjoy the view of Central Park Avenue in Yonkers.
The operators of Yonkers Whiskey House say a deck near the busy retail-restaurant corridor is a vital part of its recipe for success.
So Robert Foti, managing member of Double Barrel LLC, the entity that runs the Yonkers Whiskey House, sued Yonkers Shopping Center LLC, the landlord, for $750,000, claiming it thwarted efforts to upgrade the bar and restaurant at 2221 Central Park Ave.
Efforts to reach the landlord for comment were unsuccessful.
Whiskey House signed a 10-year lease in January 2017 with a previous property owner.
The bar claims it got permission to erect a lighted sign in the parking lot to draw attention to the business. It says it advised the previous landlord of its plans to build a deck for outdoor dining, according to the complaint filed in Westchester Supreme Court, and the landlord agreed to assist with getting the necessary permits.
The sign went up. An architect was hired. Money was spent.
Late last year, according to property records, Yonkers Shopping Center LLC bought the property for $8.2 million. The Whiskey House lease, the complaint states, was assigned to the new landlord.
The new landlord took over the premises last March and began making renovations in the parking lot. But in doing so, the complaint states, the Whiskey House sign was removed and discarded. The bar’s security camera and a window were broken. The parking lot and a walkway were closed for a while. Lights were allegedly turned off in the parking lot, making it appear that the shopping center was closed.
In April, as work was being done on the deck, the city of Yonkers shut down the project because the parking lot, according to the complaint, was not big enough.
Last June the landlord replaced the bar’s sign with a smaller sign. But by then, the Whiskey House alleges, it had lost considerable business.
Whiskey House – represented by attorney Jacqueline N. Boone of Yonkers – is accusing the landlord of negligence.
Yonkers Shopping Center is registered at a house in Briarcliff Manor, according to a New York Department of State record. Deed and mortgage records list the shopping center’s office in the care of Ehud Cafri at the Broadway Bridge car wash, 5134 Broadway, in the Inwood section of Manhattan. A telephone message for Cafri, requesting his side of the story, was not returned.