Last week, we reported that Pita Grill in Irvine was suddenly and unceremoniously closed. After the post published, Amer Taha, its owner, got in touch with us and told us of his struggle with his landlord, The Irvine Company.
As some of our readers noted on the comment board of our post, Taha confirmed that the sudden closure was not by choice.
He said that The Irvine Company told him Pita Grill was not a good fit for the center.
"We had an option to renew for five more years, so we had our attorney send a letter of our intentions to exercise the option," Taha said.
The Irvine Company countered with a claim that he owed late fees back from 2009 and 2010, Taha told me. Taha argued that these late fees were supposed to have been waived by an Irvine Company representative at the time.
The case ultimately went to court where "The judge took the Irvine company side and evicted us," Taha said.
I asked whether Taha knew that his space is already set aside for a new tenant, DonerG, the Anaheim Turkish kabobery.
"I know they leased the space to a similar outfit, which is funny," he said.
"We were number one in sales," Taha continued. "Since we moved in, four restaurants in the center moved out. Its not a hot center but we did good because we were different."
As for the future, Taha is planning to reopen Pita Grill.
"We have two locations that we are working on right now," he stated.
"Neither one is in Irvine."
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He did not confirm whether he was looking somewhere in Tustin, as some of his loyal customers have told me.
"We should have a lease on one in the next couple of weeks," he said.
More detail on that as it comes.