Carefree Station Shuttered Due to "Unseen Circumstances"; Talks With Landlord Currently Under Way

Categories: Restaurant News

In what can now be pretty much be deemed "2013: The Year of the Landlord," another Valley restaurant has been shuttered by a building owner -- this time, it seems, much to the surprise of the staff.

On Saturday, September 28, Carefree Station, the nine-year-old Southwestern restaurant located in Carefree's Spanish Village, posted this message to its Facebook page:

See also: Karl's Quality Bakery In Phoenix Moving to New Space After 20 Years

"To all of our wonderful guests:

Due to some unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, we have closed for the weekend. We hope by Monday to have some clarity as to when we will reopen. We're very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused anyone. We will continue to keep you posted.

Thank you so much for your understanding."

On Tuesday, a second message appeared:

"Thank you to everyone who has been checking in with us over the past few days! Unfortunately, we are still closed, and we don't have any resolution yet to the issue we have been dealing with. We appreciate everyone's patience and support. The outpouring from the community has been heartwarming! We'll continue to keep you posted as we have more news."

A representative for Carefree Station tells me the reason for Carefree Station's "sudden closure" is a dispute with the building's landlord. Although the representative would not go into the details of that dispute, she stated that the owners are currently "trying to deal with that situation so they can come to some resolution."

The landlord issue with Carefree Station follows two other notable stories regarding restaurants and building owners: In June, the 17-year-old Coup Des Tartes in Phoenix was kicked out of its home to make way for a used car parking lot. And in September, Karl's Quality Bakery, also in Phoenix, left its home of over 20 years after losing a dispute with its landlord.

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Location Info

Carefree Station Grill & Bar - CLOSED

7212 Ho Hum Road, Carefree, AZ

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funny thing about business people who buy buildings and lease out space: they want to make as much money as possible and are not in the business to help out foodfags.


Basically now that the real estate crisis is supposedly "over" and the economy is supposedly "recovering," a lot of these landlords, who bought commercial properties when they were in foreclosure and dirt cheap, now think they can get away with jacking up their rents to levels too high for many mom-and-pop tenants to pay. And in many cases, they are not waiting until their tenants are near the end of existing leases to drop this bomb; they are jacking rents when there are still several months left on the lease, and claiming they have the right to raise rents anytime they want, due to some obscure loophole in the lease fine print. 

At least this is what is happening to my hairdresser, who just got notified that her rent will be going up by $500 next month, despite the fact that she still has six months on her existing lease. And when she told the landlord she would pay only the amount they previously agreed to, he told her to go pound sand, and get ready to be evicted if she does not pay the new amount. He claims the owners have several other would-be tenants who would be happy to pay the higher rent if she doesn't want to. She is consulting with a lawyer, but it doesn't look good since Arizona laws heavily favor landlords over tenants. 

I suspect many of these restaurants are facing similal situations, and it's sad, because in most cases the only people who can afford to pay these inflated rents are bland, boring, ugly chain restaurants, the ones Phoenix already has too many of, and so our fledgling independent restaurant scene, already way behind that of most other big cities, is being nipped in the bud. But the landlords don't care, as long as they get more money in their already fat wallets.

Ugly American Greed and Capitalism at its finest.

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