We knew it was coming, and today we get word of the lawsuit that Gold Dust Lounge owners Jimmy and Tasios Bovis have filed against their landlord, Handlery Hotels, in an attempt to stave off their March 10 eviction.* The first words of their complaint, filed today in San Francisco County Superior Court, are, "This case can be summarized in two words greed and deceit." The Bovises go on to claim that the Handlerys have systematically deceived them over the years, misrepresenting new lease agreements in which they snuck in increasingly shorter termination clauses, and committing "elder abuse" in the process the Bovis brothers are both in their eighties.
Over the course of two decades, lease agreements went from giving 18 months notice for termination only in the case of demolition or extreme alteration of the building, to, in their most recent lease signed a year ago, giving only 90 days notice with no cause. Also, the Handlerys allegedly threatened the Bovis family's other business, Lefty O'Doul's, which is also in space leased from the Handlerys, if the Bovises tried to challenge the eviction.
There are six official complaints, including intentional misrepresentation, breach of contract, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The Gold Dust team hopes that the suit will at least result in an injunction that will delay eviction proceedings, with their early March cut-off looming.
As we discussed last week, the Historic Preservation Commission still has to weigh in on the potential landmarking of the bar's interior, which may be a long shot but which still will get the attention of Planning and the Board of Supervisors, who as Willie Brown pointed out, may not take kindly to approving any possible changes to the building that the Handlerys will have to make for their new tenant (rumored to be a CVS).
The Handlerys, for their part, say that this lawsuit is "straight from the Twilight Zone and is an irresponsible misuse of the judicial system," but it is probably the Bovises' last shot at saving the beloved bar. Stay tuned as this drama unfolds further in the coming weeks.
Gold Dust Lounge files a lawsuit against Handlery Hotels, alleging misrepresentation, elder abuse [Scoop]
Earlier: Gold Dust Lounge Does Not Quite Get Reprieve from Preservationists, But the Fight Is Far From Over
Gold Dust Lounge Supporters to Landlord: This Is Going to Get Ugly
* The new filing has the date as March 10, but sources had earlier reported the eviction date as March 7.