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Gourmet Burger loses court battle over rents

A JUDGE has granted a landlord an order for possession of the Gourmet Burger Company restaurant in Ranelagh, Dublin.

Barrister Liam Bell said Brenda Farrell had agreed in 2007 a lease of the restaurant with Gaudice Ltd which trades as the Gourmet Burger Company.

The Circuit Civil court heard the restaurant had paid only part of the €80,000 annual rent in 2009 and had withheld rent payments since May 2010. Farrell sued Gaudice Ltd and chef Jonathan Dockrell for arrears of €175,000 and the return of the premises.

Ms Farrell, aware of the restaurant's financial difficulties, had reduced the rent to €65,000 per year in April 2009.

Mr Dockrell told the court the restaurant had been in difficulty since 2009 and he had been unable to pay the full rent. He had tried several times to have the rent reduced further or to surrender the lease. He said he was ready to pay €20,000 upfront and a further €42,000 by way of monthly rental payments of €3,500.

Judge Matthew Deery said no realistic progress had been made between the parties. He granted Ms Farrell an order for possession along with a decree for €175,000.