Seal Beach filed a lawsuit against Ruby’s Diner – the former operator of the now-shuttered restaurant at the end of the pier – accusing the business of leaving $570,000 worth of maintenance and renovations undone, according to court records.
However, a Ruby’s Diner spokesman said the eatery worked well with the city and followed their contracts to the letter.
Ruby's Diner, which first opened at the end of the pier in 1987, shut down in January. Some residents were crestfallen, and, more recently, the former general manager filed paperwork in the hopes of re-opening the business as a franchise.
According to the complaint filed by Seal Beach’s City Attorney, Ruby’s agreed to make $400,000 worth of improvements to the site in its 2002 lease. However, in a section titled “The Remodel that Never Happened,” City Attorney Quinn Barrow alleges the renovations weren’t done.
He goes on to say that Ruby’s cost the city $170,000 worth of work because it “failed to performed the necessary maintenance to the facility.”
Tad Belshe, Ruby's executive vice president of operations, disagrees.
“The city has stated that they believe we have not fulfilled the obligation of the lease, and we believe we have,“ said Tad Belshe Ruby’s executive vice president of operations. “We have had our (legal) counsel review the lease and believe we have fulfilled the obligation of the lease, so there’s a difference opinion here."
“We maintained the building. We did all sorts of different repairs,” Belshe added. “Someone one on the city's side believes the language (of the contract) is stating one thing, and our full belief is that it's another."
City staff and City Council members did not return calls for comment late Friday evening.
According to court records, the city filed the original suit in March 29.
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