JJF Realty is attempting to evict The Fine Grind from its location in Piazza Farnese on Newark Pompton Turnpike. The beloved Little Falls coffee bar (a favorite of Barista Lisa Romeo) is known for hosting seminars, art shows, book clubs, and live music–including open mic nights. Several community leaders, including mayor Darlene Post, have spoken out in support of the mom and pop coffee shop.
The news comes at a time when The Fine Grind just won Best Coffee/Tea bar in North Jersey in the Annual Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll.
JJF Realty claims that shop owners Jon and Rhonda Mallek violated their lease by filing for bankruptcy and failing to pay rent in a timely matter.
The Mallek’s respond that they are not in default on their lease, and owe no money or late fees to JJF Realty. They posted this comment to the public on their Facebook page:
Although we have the right under our Lease to renew and stay here at the Piazza Farnese for another 5 years, our landlord, Dr. Farnese, is trying to deny us this right. We are unclear as to the landlord’s motivation for wanting us out. The reasons he is using are illegitimate and not reasons to evict a paying tenant. We believe that these reasons will not hold up in court and with the help of our lawyer, we are prepared to fight to stay at our current location in Little Falls where our roots are firmly planted.
We are saddened by the fact that the landlord would want to eliminate what we worked so hard to create. It has become the place for the community to gather and take part in all that we provide which goes well beyond great coffee and food. We have created a unique establishment that our customers have made part of their daily routine. We love this town and appreciate the support of our customers over the past 8 years. Our plan is to be here for many years to come. Hopefully our right to stay will be upheld in Court on August 8th.
Sincerely, Rhonda & Jon Mallek