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 Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes

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acer2x

  • Total Posts: 440
  • Joined: 12/30/2003
  • Location: Goodyear, AZ
Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Wed, 10/29/08 6:23 PM (permalink)
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

 
#1
    joerogo

    • Total Posts: 4466
    • Joined: 1/17/2006
    • Location: Pittston, PA
    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Wed, 10/29/08 6:33 PM (permalink)
    The appeal of the Reading terminal Market has been diminished, IMHO.
     
    #2
      Russ Jackson

      • Total Posts: 2257
      • Joined: 11/28/2007
      • Location: Xenia
      RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Wed, 10/29/08 6:38 PM (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

        RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Wed, 10/29/08 6:58 PM (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

          • Total Posts: 2162
          • Joined: 8/1/2004
          • Location: New York, NY
          RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Wed, 10/29/08 10:01 PM (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

            • Total Posts: 440
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            • Location: Goodyear, AZ
            RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 11:12 AM (permalink)
             
            #6
              Kaczmark

              • Total Posts: 73
              • Joined: 2/21/2005
              • Location: Rochester, NY
              RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 11:24 AM (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

                • Total Posts: 3026
                • Joined: 11/30/2001
                • Location: Ormond Beach, FL
                RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 12:07 PM (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

                  • Total Posts: 440
                  • Joined: 12/30/2003
                  • Location: Goodyear, AZ
                  RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 12:37 PM (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

                    • Total Posts: 7399
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                    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 1:12 PM (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

                      RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 1:40 PM (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

                        • Total Posts: 440
                        • Joined: 12/30/2003
                        • Location: Goodyear, AZ
                        RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:21 PM (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

                          • Total Posts: 4466
                          • Joined: 1/17/2006
                          • Location: Pittston, PA
                          RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:40 PM (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

                            RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:41 PM (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

                              RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:44 PM (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

                                • Total Posts: 15066
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                                • Roadfood Insider
                                RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:47 PM (permalink)

                                It appears that the term "Philadelphia Lawyer" as a descriptor of underhanded legal dealing is reinforced by this action.
                                 
                                #16
                                  joerogo

                                  • Total Posts: 4466
                                  • Joined: 1/17/2006
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                                  RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:48 PM (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

                                    • Total Posts: 4466
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                                    RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 3:51 PM (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

                                      • Total Posts: 440
                                      • Joined: 12/30/2003
                                      • Location: Goodyear, AZ
                                      RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 4:57 PM (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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                                        • Location: Ormond Beach, FL
                                        RE: Rick's Steaks in Reading Terminal Market Closes Thu, 10/30/08 5:20 PM (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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