The Juliet Supperclub, a West Chelsea haunt known for its celebrity clientele and the two murders that occurred there in recent months, opted to withdraw a lawsuit today that was seeking to thwart eviction proceedings, according to court documents obtained by The Real Deal.
Since November, the club owner has been fighting with its landlord, an entity of the Newark, N.J.-based Edison Properties, over whether the venue is a supperclub or a nightclub.
The latter type of establishment is not allowed under the lease, and the landlord has cited a September stabbing and a Nov. 15, 2011 shooting at the club at 539 West 21st Street as evidence that Juliet is fostering a culture of violence. An attorney for Juliet, meanwhile, has argued that the venue is a legitimate restaurant with an extensive menu.
Edison sent the club owner, 539 JB Enterprises Ltd., a 10-day notice to “cure,” or fix the alleged violation, but Juliet shot back with a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court, Nov. 18, 2011. After a lengthy hearing Jan. 19, the parties were set to meet in court today, but instead Juliet opted to withdraw its request for a so-called Yellowstone injunction, according to A Stipulation Filed With The Court.
A Yellowstone injunction essentially stops the clock on a landlord’s notice period and allows a tenant to either fix the supposed violation or prove in court that it did not violate the lease, explained Joseph Burden, a real estate partner with Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman who is not involved with the case. Even if Juliet lost, the Yellowstone injunction would give the club additional time to make the necessary fixes, which is not true of proceedings in Housing Court, he said.
“If you win, then the case is dismissed and you remain as a tenant,” Burden said of Housing Court proceedings. “However, if you lose, then you get evicted and you don’t get another opportunity to cure.”
It was not immediately clear why Juliet opted to withdraw its request, and attorneys for the club did not return requests for comment.
Withdrawing the request does not necessarily reflect on the merits of Juliet’s case, or change the club’s legal position, Burden said, but a Housing Court judge may interpret this course of action as an indication that the club could not prove what it had to prove.
At the Jan. 19 hearing, an attorney for the landlord grilled one of the Juliet’s managers on the activities at the club, according to a source who was inside the courtroom. “They saw they weren’t going to win the case and that’s probably why it ended,” the source said.
Juliet opened in 2009 and has since welcomed numerous celebrities and professional athletes. The club has been closed for renovations since Jan. 1, according to an outgoing voicemail message.
Adam Leitman Bailey, whose namesake law firm represents the landlord, declined to comment.