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World of Beer sues Walden Galleria owners for not terminating their lease

Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 04, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — World of Beer is suing the Walden Galleria owners, claiming they were not allowed to terminate their lease.

The complaint - which was filed Wednesday - states that Pyramid Walden Company would not honor the lease termination in the contract because World of Beer "was obligated to continuously operate" its restaurant during the calendar year 2020.

"They are alleging a breach of contract because they are no longer able to operate their business in the lease premises because the mall had to shut down. And so due to the executive order which mandated that the mall shut down, the premises were no longer usable," said Florina Altshiler, Legal Analyst.

The complaint claims that when the pandemic began and non-essential businesses were ordered to close, Tavern Brews - who owns World of Beer - paid all owed sums even when they were not allowed to be open for business.

Altshiler said Tavern Brews wants their rent money back and to be let out of the lease, while Pyramid Walden Company wants its rent money.

"The mall is saying look, you have a contract to pay us rent, your lease continues on, so you need to keep paying us rent," she said.

According to the complaint, the lease states that "when due to unavoidable delays caused by governmental prohibitions or regulations. . . or any other causes beyond such party's reasonable control" to relieve that party of liability under the lease.

"If you look at the contract between them and the mall, it said if this natural disaster occurred or if something unforeseeable happened - which prevented use of the premises, the contract would essentially end," said Altshiler.

On January first of this year, Tavern Brews gave the Pyramid Walden Company a written notice of its intent to terminate the lease.

The complaint also claims an article of the lease says Tavern Brews has the right to terminate the lease if its Gross Receipts "do not exceed" one and a half million dollars ($1,500,000.00) in the fifth year of the lease.

Tavern Brews said over the past year, they made less than that.

We've reached out to the Pyramid Walden Company and Tavern Brews's attorney for comments, but have yet to hear back.