Downtown Rochester Restaurant Sues City Over Construction Impact
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The owner of a closed downtown Rochester restaurant is suing the city and the DMC Corporation, claiming they “deliberately and intentionally interfered” with his business.
The Jerk King restaurant had operated in the Peace Plaza, opposite the Chateau Theater until it was forced to close due to the pandemic. It is still closed because of ongoing construction.
This photo of the closed restaurant was taken Tuesday.
The lawsuit says “fences and other objects placed on the sidewalks adjacent to the restaurant” have prevented customers from entering.
The city began a major renovation of the Peace Plaza last year and as of this week, work was still underway.
This is how the plaza section on the west side of 1st Ave SW looked Tuesday.
According to the lawsuit:
“The interference is of unknown duration and is apparently continuing indefinitely into the future, thus making it permanent.”
This is how it looked in January.
Attorney William French filed the lawsuit on behalf of the owner, who is from Toronto. He says the city has had no contact with his client. French says his client is still paying rent of $15,000 per month even though the restaurant has been closed since the pandemic began. He says dine-in restaurants were allowed to reopen in January but the construction project prevented his client from doing so.
The lawsuit seeks in excess of $50,000 from the city and DMC for each of the four counts listed in the complaint.
Ironically, the owner of the restaurant took some goodies to City Hall two years ago:
Communications Coordinator Megan Moeller says "work (other than lighting) will be done Monday 11/15/2022. There will still be punch list items but the plaza will be open."
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