Magnolia’s Southern Cuisine Restaurant & Bourbon Bar’s new landlord has filed a lawsuit seeking back rent and possession of the space.
Magnolia’s founder Shanita McAfee-Bryant shuttered the original location at 2932 Cherry St. in February 2015 after nearly three years of operations. She said the location, just south of Hospital Hill, just didn’t have enough visibility and foot traffic. She also needed to remodel and expand.
She picked a site in Gomer’s Plaza, 9916 Holmes Road, Unit A, and opened there in early November 2015. Bryant also did a successful Kickstarter campaign to help with some expenses — 142 backers pledged $15,145.
But now REMOG Properties LLC has sued Jorja Restaurant Group LLC and its registered agents, Shanita Bryant and Mark McAfee Sr., seeking $5,750 in back rent. It said Shanita Bryant, as guarantor on the lease, agreed to pay a monthly rental rate of $3,000 but failed to pay rent on or about Jan. 1 and now owes $5,750 in back rent. The landlord also is seeking late fees of $2,850 (at $475 per month), insufficient check fees of at least $50, attorney fees and other costs.
Bryant declined to comment on the lawsuit.
She worked at several area restaurants before opening Magnolia’s Catering in 2008 and then the restaurant in April 2012. In September 2014, she appeared on the Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” winning $14,800.
River Market update
LaBruzzo’s Sweet Oven closed in March after about 15 months of operations. Now the landlord is in negotiations for a new tenant to take over the 1,500-square-foot spot at 520 Walnut St.
Sisters Vicki and Carol LaBruzzo offered such items as Italian cookies, pastries, and bread in the River Market venue.