University files suit against campus restaurant location over rent

ASU lawyers are suing to collect rent, late fees and interest from Rehab Burger Therapy

ASU filed a lawsuit against Rehab Burger Therapy after the Arizona Board of Regents decided to allow the lawsuit to continue following a special board meeting on Jan. 30.

The restaurant still owes the University about $85,600 in rent, late fees and interest and about $443,400 in lease payments.

The suit comes after the University terminated its lease agreement with the restaurant in November following several years of back-and-forth about rent payments and obligations.  

ABOR "performed all its obligations and duties required under the agreements" between the board and the restaurant, according to the filed lawsuit.

"While ASU started negotiations to a second amendment to the lease in order to restructure Rehab Burger's past due and accruing rent obligations," Sarah Harper, the ABOR vice president of communications, said in an email. "ASU was left little chance to collect these fees except through litigation."

The restaurant was about $40,000 behind on rent payments to the University by December 2018.

In August 2019, Rehab Burger Therapy stopped paying rent again, leaving the space vulnerable and the University lacked the funds they needed. The University sent several letters directly to the owners noting the amount of money they owed for the space they occupied.  

Two months later in October, the restaurant moved out of the Brickyard location but they continue to serve customers at their Scottsdale location.

The filed suit said that ABOR "has suffered damages that exceed the jurisdictional minimum" of the Maricopa County court. 

In addition, ABOR not only claims reimbursement of rent, late fees and interest from the restaurant, "the Board of Regents is entitled to recover its attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to the Brickyard Lease Agreement," according to the lawsuit.

Rehab Burger Therapy used to rent space in the University's Brickyard building; home to one of the schools in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, faculty offices, classrooms, research labs and commercial space. 

A spokesperson said the University did not have further comment than what was discussed at the special board meeting of the regents. 

The restaurant owners were unable to be reached for comment on this story.


Reach the reporter at pjhanse1@asu.edu and follow @piperjhansen on Twitter. 

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