SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Destiny USA mall is suing a restaurant that closed abruptly last month for nearly $700,000, according to court records.
The Melting Pot, a restaurant chain that specializes in fondue, closed at the Syracuse mall on July 16. In an email and Facebook post to customers, the chain said financial losses at the six-year-old restaurant were too great to continue.
Destiny USA filed a lawsuit against the restaurant and franchise owner on July 30, according to court filings. The Melting Pot is accused of breaching its 10-year lease that ends in 2022.
By “abandoning” the location in July, The Melting Pot breached the terms of the lease, Destiny argues in court papers.
The 192-seat restaurant opened on the first level of the mall’s Canyon area in 2012. It offered a full, four-course fondue meal, including dessert, prepared tableside by servers.
The mall is seeking a total of $686,894.74 plus legal fees from the restaurant, according to the lawsuit.
The 4,500-square-foot restaurant was supposed to pay roughly $13,800 a month in rent, the lawsuit states. Destiny wants $87,942.86 for past due rent that was owed as of July 31 and $579,222.92, which would cover the remaining rent on the lease at a slightly discounted rate.
The mall is also suing the tenant for $19,728.96, which is the unearned portion of a $50,000 cash allowance, according to court records.
The Melting Pot fell behind on rent in 2017. By Dec. 8, 2017, the restaurant owed $37,435.05 in past due rent. The amount reached $66,980 in mid-June, Destiny stated.
In the message to customers, which is no longer available on its Facebook page, The Melting Pot held out the option of someday returning:
“While there are no confirmed plans to re-open this location, The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. has a strong interest to return to the Syracuse area in the future.”
In New York, the chain has locations in Albany, Buffalo, Farmingdale, Rochester and White Plains.