The Real Deal Miami

Vornado sues to evict Panfiore from its Alton Road location

Now-closed restaurant allegedly stopped paying rent three months into three-year lease
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | May 18, 2016 02:30PM

Panfiore's location at 1627 Alton Road

Panfiore’s location at 1627 Alton Road

After a 15-year run at its South Beach location, the Italian sandwich stop Panfiore has been sued for eviction.

Landlord Vornado Realty Trust filed an eviction lawsuit last week, alleging Panfiore is delinquent on more than $78,000 in unpaid rent.

Panfiore has occupied its small 825-square-foot location at 1627 Alton Road for more than a decade. Founded in 2001, the fast-casual shop served up Italian fare in the form of fresh-pressed paninis, coffees and desserts.

The building, which has the address of 1100 Lincoln Road, came under Vornado’s control when the investment trust paid $132 million for it in 2012.

According to a copy of the restaurant’s lease attached to the lawsuit, Panfiore signed a new agreement to pay a minimum of $8,250 per month — or $99,000 annually — for three years starting July 2015.

Three months later, the suit says, Panfiore stopped paying its rent. Vornado filed to evict Panfiore and collect on the rent owed through May 2016 — valued at $78,722 — and is also pushing for accelerated rent, requiring Panfiore to pay out a $282,704 lump sum for the remaining two years of its lease, according to the suit.

The suit names Miami Hospitality Solutions LLC, which does business as Panfiore, as the defendant. The company is managed by Amine Ouzzine and Fernando Barros, who have addresses in Aventura and Hallandale Beach, respectively.

Vornado declined to comment. The number listed on Panfiore’s website and Yelp page had been disconnected, and workers at nearby stores told The Real Deal via phone that the Italian eatery had closed its doors.

Though an explanation for Panfiore’s delinquency isn’t currently available, this wouldn’t be the first time a South Beach restaurant closed due to high rents. Piola, a popular pizza shop, lost its lease in the very same building after its term expired and the landlord raised the rents, making it unfeasible for the eatery to stay, according to published reports.

Rents on Lincoln Road are some of the highest in the nation. Recent reports show prime retail space on Lincoln Road can fetch as much as $300 per square foot annually, and even Panfiore’s relatively small lease reached $120 per foot.