Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes

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acer2x
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2008/10/29 18:23:54 (permalink)

Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes

After 25 years. Lease was not renewed and litigation was settled:



www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20081029_Reading_Terminal__Wid-out_Ricks_Steaks.html

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    joerogo
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/29 18:33:54 (permalink)
    The appeal of the Reading terminal Market has been diminished, IMHO.
    #2
    Russ Jackson
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/29 18:38:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by acer2x

    After 25 years. Lease was not renewed and litigation was settled:



    www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20081029_Reading_Terminal__Wid-out_Ricks_Steaks.html




    He spent over 300,000 dollars on defense. I hope he has money left for a new building. Only winners will be the lawyers again...Russ
    #3
    Holly Moore
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/29 18:58:50 (permalink)
    The Reading Terminal Market Board of Directors squandered over $700,000 of the Market's funds for a simple landlord tenant dispute that never should have happened. With the most kind interpretation - total fiduciary incompetence.

    There were all sorts of shenanigans in the board's initial announcement that Tony Luke's was taking over the space. According to a market merchant, it wasn't Tony Luke that was interested but a potential Tony Luke's franchisee with close ties to at least one member of the Board of Directors. That has been dropped because of all of the public uproar. Too much sunlight on a potentially very shady deal.

    No one knows for sure if this was just the Board acting out of spite or whether it was some back room dealing to steal away a million dollar plus location from a merchant that has been there for thirty some years and a couple of generations.

    The net effect - no merchant of Reading Terminal Market is safe. Any merchant can be kicked out at the end of that merchant's lease at the board's whim. No appeal. No consideration for the role they have played in the market's development.
    #4
    David_NYC
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/29 22:01:08 (permalink)
    I remember reading about this issue while in Philadelphia last June. I finally found the Philadelphia Inquirer article online, which includes more details about the dispute:
    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/19482099.html

    #5
    acer2x
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 11:12:50 (permalink)
    Final day article:

    www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20081030_Rick_s_Steaks_serves_its_last_at_terminal.html
    #6
    Kaczmark
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 11:24:00 (permalink)
    hmmmm...Rick spent $310,000 in legal fees to fight eviction and Reading Terminal board spent $700,000???

    The end result a vendor gone and an empty space. Seems like the only winners here are the &%$##** LAWYERS!
    #7
    Baah Ben
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 12:07:55 (permalink)
    Hey - I love to read this stuff..It's the bad part of the real world of business. But, it's interesting, informative and perhaps can help someone else. There is no obligation to renew anyone's lease if it is not clearly stipulated in the lease, but why wouldn't you want to renew a guy who is a main draw? It sure seems like this guy was singled out. Sounds like pure spite work!

    Hey, doesn't the same thing happen with being a franchiseee when the franchisor wants to take advantage for one reason or another. It sucks, but it happens..all the time.

    This guy obviously has a successful business and he can over come these legal fees. He was also given some bad advice and could have cut his losses right away. Can you imagine if it were some poor guy who put his life savings in a business and someone with influence and connections wanted his space..

    Only the lawyers winThe biggest problem in the country's legal system IMHO is that the loser is not required to pay the legal fees of the winner. I know, in this particular case, that was not the case, but in most, you each pay your own legal fees. IN England, the loser pays the winner's legal bill.
    #8
    acer2x
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 12:37:48 (permalink)
    In my days as a commercial litigation attorney in Pennsylvania, I would have advised Rick's that they were fighting an uphill battle and if they wanted to litigate we would do our best and the costs could be substantial. Rather than walk away at the end of the lease, Rick's CHOSE to litigate.I'm sure the lawyer didn't hold a gun to Rick's head and force litigation. Rick's bore the costs and ultimately settled the case as the handwriting was on the wall. It definetly was a "spite" termination of Rick's lease but that's not grounds for getting an Injunction and forcing a landlord to keep a tenant beyond the terms of the lease. Rick's tried, got a court ordered lease extension until the trial was scheduled and then settled the case. Perhaps Rick's saw it as a victory as the landlord paid more in legal fees.
    By the way, in England and many states in the US including PA,my understanding is that a "loser" only pays the other sides legal fees IF the case goes to trial and verdict.

    #9
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 13:12:31 (permalink)
    my position always has been that on any type of civil litigation, justice should be free. No one should be required (or penalized) to incurr the costs of hiring an attorney if they choose not (or can't afford) to. A lay person who respectfully presents their case should have every bit of leeway latitude from the judge and or jury
    #10
    Holly Moore
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 13:40:14 (permalink)
    For the legal minds, this is more about protecting a longstanding Philadelphia Tradition and Institution that is being lorded over by a Board of Directors who treat it as an urban shopping mall. Legally Rick's Steaks probably never stood a chance. Its only hope was to put enough political and public pressure on the Board to force them to relent.

    I believe the obligation to cover legal fees may have been in the lease, but am not sure. My suspicion is that the case was settled out of court because the Board, especially the Board Chairman, did not want to go through embarrassing sworn testimony about their motives and actions. And to prevent it they were willing to spend and lose the opportunity to recover $700,000 of the market's operating funds.

    While there was definitely spite on the Board's part, I suspect there was also greed or, at the least early in the deal before it blew up in the Board's face, some sort of political friends scratching other friends backs in pursuit of a million dollar plus location.

    Yes, Rick's Steaks was tilting at windmills. At least the public and legal fight 1) screwed up the board's rumored initial plan to ease in a Tony Luke's franchisee / political ally, 2) showed the Board for what they really are and 3) got Rick's Steaks another year plus in the market.
    #11
    acer2x
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:21:00 (permalink)
    Holly,

    "...longstanding Philadelphia Tradition and Institution..."

    Well...they come and go- Horn & Hardart, Linton's,Nedick's,Levis', John Wanamaker,Shoyer's, Strawbridge & Clothier, Jacob Reed, Morville, the Locust Club, the Troc, etc., etc........

    I'm sure Rick's will find another location.I'm sure he's doing ok at The Bank. And, yes, the Reading Terminal Market is the lesser. And by the way, Pierce & Schurr in the Terminal Market- where are they now?

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=travel&res=9B02E7DE123BF93BA3575AC0A963948260

    #12
    joerogo
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:40:50 (permalink)
    Drop them an email. http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/about/staff

    I think what they did was horrible. Taking away a persons livelihood should never be an option, especially from a government controlled entity. Too bad for the vendors who are left, I will make my purchases at the Italian Market.

    Do you think there was any "hand-slapping" involved in their decision?
    #13
    Holly Moore
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:41:30 (permalink)
    To clarify, perhaps, I mean that the Reading Terminal Market, itself, is a "longstanding Philadelphia Tradition and Institution" that the current board is trying to run like a commercial shopping mall. I place the Reading Terminal Market in the landmark category, much more worth saving than any retailer - even Wanamaker's.

    As for Rick's Steaks - they were forced out of business by a spiteful, bullying landlord. The places you mentioned chose to close or sold out to a larger retailer - or in the case of Levis', due to horrible mismanagement by new owners who had no feel for the business.

    Not sure about Piere & Shurr?



    #14
    Holly Moore
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:44:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by joerogo

    Drop them an email. http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/about/staff

    I think what they did was horrible. Taking away a persons livelihood should never be an option, especially from a government controlled entity. Too bad for the vendors who are left, I will make my purchases at the Italian Market.

    Do you think there was any "hand-slapping" involved in their decision?


    It is not fair to boycott the Market - most of the merchants took a strong stand for Rick's Steaks. The Amish merchants even canceled their annual market festival in protest of the Board's actions.
    #15
    mayor al
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:47:58 (permalink)

    It appears that the term "Philadelphia Lawyer" as a descriptor of underhanded legal dealing is reinforced by this action.
    #16
    joerogo
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:48:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Holly Moore

    quote:
    Originally posted by joerogo

    Drop them an email. http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/about/staff

    I think what they did was horrible. Taking away a persons livelihood should never be an option, especially from a government controlled entity. Too bad for the vendors who are left, I will make my purchases at the Italian Market.

    Do you think there was any "hand-slapping" involved in their decision?


    It is not fair to boycott the Market - most of the merchants took a strong stand for Rick's Steaks. The Amish merchants even canceled their annual market festival in protest of the Board's actions.


    You are 100% right. But the place just puts a bad taste in my mouth right now.

    #17
    joerogo
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 15:51:59 (permalink)
    Make no mistake about it. This is a political board which appears to be overseen by the Mayor.

    Board of Directors
    Andrew Altman
    Representing the Mayor of Philadelphia

    Karen Randal, Secretary, Board Designate

    Madeline Apollo, Director,
    Representing Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority

    William Blades, Director,
    Representing Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

    Honorable Frank DiCicco, Director,
    Representing the City Council of Philadelphia

    Barbara Deeley, Board Designate

    Ricardo Dunston, Board Chair

    Michael Hogan, Non-Voting Director,
    Assistant Treasurer

    Paul Madden, Esq, Director,
    Representing RTM Merchants Association

    Jennifer Rodriguez, Non-Voting Director,
    Treasurer

    Michelle Shannon, Non-Voting Director

    Rebecca Stoloff, Vice Chair,
    Representing RTM Preservation Fund
    #18
    acer2x
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 16:57:59 (permalink)
    Actually, the term "Philadelphia lawyer" is a compliment.

    From Wikipedia:

    Philadelphia Lawyer is a term to describe a lawyer who knows the most detailed and minute points of law. Its first usage dates back to 1788.

    Philadelphia-based Colonial American lawyer Andrew Hamilton, a lawyer best known for his legal victory on behalf of printer and newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger, is believed to have inspired the "Philadelphia lawyer" term. This 1735 decision helped to establish that truth is a defense to an accusation of libel.

    In any event, the Board is political.Who knows who actually pulled the strings on this case. It was once said about Philadelphia that " it is corrupt and contented." Maybe some day that will change but, in the meantime, the Phillies won the World Series!!!!
    #19
    Baah Ben
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    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes 2008/10/30 17:20:36 (permalink)
    Have any of you guys heard this expression "It's not what yo know but who you know!"

    Rick's was doomed once Tony Luke's approached his buddy on that Board or in that Marketplace's administration. I hate this crap, but that's the way the world works. Let's home Rick's replacement FAILS!
    #20
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