January 28, 2011 | 2:55pm
UPDATE, JAN. 28, 2 P.M.: Owner Mike Concepcion confirmed by phone that he owes money to Puente Hills, but, he claims, he attempted to pay the rent back. "They just kept sending [the rent checks] back to me," he said. Whatever may be the case, the six-year "battle," as he described it, has come to an end. This is obviously a tough time for co-owners Shawn Condy, Concepcion and their families.
ORIGINAL ITEM, JAN. 27, NOON:
The saga of the Gypsy Lounge
legal feud appears to be over. After eight months of courtroom wrangling, plaintiff Puente Hills Power Center, LLC, has successfully evicted its tenants, Gypsy Lounge owners Shawn Condy
and Michael Concepcion
, who are now looking for a new space for the bar/venue.
"Greed and avarice will get you every time," Concepcion wrote in a Dec. 21 e-mail to the Weekly
. He blamed the investment company that acquired the property in 2004, asserting the "LLC is continually making efforts to further empty and homogenize the once fully occupied, culturally diverse and bustling strip mall." Puente Hills was, indeed, trying to evict Gypsy Lounge, but its actions appear to have been based on the tenants owing a large amount of money. Captain's Cabaret, a strip club located in the same mall, is also being evicted for unpaid rent, as reported by Patch.com
After that statement, Concepcion has not responded to numerous requests for an interview. Puente Hills has been similarly mum. But a review of the court filings reveals the particulars. On May 20, 2010, both parties appeared to dispute whether the rent had been paid from October 2009 through May 2010--a total of $21,570.40, according to court documents. Puente Hills also alleged that Condy and Concepcion owed $4,000 in maintenance charges during that time, as well as escalation charges and late fees. They failed to pay the amount set forth, and Puente Hills took action.
Puente Hills sent a three-day notice to pay common-area maintenance changes on May 14, 2010: "Pursuant to the lease under which you hold possession, there is now due, unpaid and delinquent, Common Area Maintenance ('CAM') charges for the months of October 2009 through May 2010 in the amount of $4,000. Within three (3) days after the service on you of this notice, you are hereby required to pay the amount of the above charges in full or quit the subject premises, move out, and deliver up possession to the owner and/or its authorized agent."
Even after the notice, the balance was not paid. On Sept. 1, 2010, the matter went before a judge, who found in favor of Puente Hills, which was awarded $38,627.27, including interest, attorneys' fees and escalation charges.
You would think after that hearing, the issue would be over, but no; Condy and Concepcion filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 2, 2010. Unfortunately for them, according to court documents, they failed to appear in court on the day of their bankruptcy hearing, so they are not under protection from the eviction or absolved of the back rent.
Danielle Bacher/ OC Weekly
Five days ago, the last hearing in the eviction case took place, and the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff to evict the Gypsy Lounge. Now, the property is boarded up with "CLOSED" signs and printed cloth covering the windows.