Published On: Mon, Feb 10th, 2020

Town Center at Boca Mall sues Boston Market for back rent at former food court site

By Dale King

The owner of Town Center at Boca Raton Mall has filed a lawsuit against Boston Market, seeking allegedly unpaid back rent for the restaurant chain’s food court location that the lawsuit claims closed last month.

The litigation was filed in early February by the law firm of McKenna, McCausland & Murphy of Fort Lauderdale, and seeks “in excess of $30,000” to cover unpaid rent, attorney fees and “other relief.”

A call by the Boca Raton Tribune to Boston Market’s corporate offices in Golden, Colo., was not answered.

In the suit, the law firm claims that Boston Market Corporation signed a lease for 3,357 square feet of space in the mall’s food court in June of 2015.  The lease, which the suit says was to run for 10 years, required a base rent payment of $74,000 for the first year, running up to $96,553 for the 10th year.

The restaurant was also required to pay a portion of sales receipts to the mall, the suit says.

A story that ran in the Boca Raton Tribune in December 2015 announced the arrival of Boston Market at the mall.

The story says:

“Boston Market, a national fast casual chain specializing in rotisserie chicken and home-style meals, opened a new food court restaurant at the popular Town Center at Boca Raton.”

“With the community’s incredible support, this opening marks the fourth Boston Market restaurant in Boca Raton,” said George Michel, [then-CEO] of Boston Market. “We have many loyal guests in the Boca Raton area, so opening a restaurant in one of the most popular shopping malls allows us to be where our guests are and provide delicious and healthful meals to even more people.”

“The Boca Raton restaurant will offer a streamlined version of the traditional Boston Market menu, featuring favorites like rotisserie chicken, roasted turkey breast, cornbread and a selection of popular home-style sides including mashed potatoes and green beans.”

The suit says Boston Market “permanently vacated and abandoned the [food court] premises on or about Jan. 20, 2020.”

According to the internet, Boston Market, which opened in 1985 as Boston Chicken, in an empty store in Newton, Mass., just west of Boston, experienced tremendous growth during its first few years.

The internet says the corporation expanded rapidly, running up considerable debt in the process. In October 1998, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and nearly 400 locations were shuttered. Burger giant McDonald’s Corp. purchased the company in 2000 for $173 million.

Seven years later, McDonald’s sold the struggling firm to Sun Capital Partners in Boca Raton.

The lawsuit claims the company “materially breached the lease by failing to pay rent and state sales taxes.”

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