Subculture Coffee In Delray Closes After Losing Legal Battle With Landlord

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By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor

Popular coffee shop Subculture coffee has shuttered its Delray Beach location.

The news came as a surprise to many coffee lovers on a recent Monday morning. The coffee shop posted on its Instagram that everything would be given away for free as it was the location’s last day.

Posters were plastered around the shop stating that the store was being forced out of its location due to a “small technicality” in their lease. They call the landlord “greedy.”

But court records indicate that Subculture violated its lease agreement with the landlord. A complaint filed by the property owner William Burke in the Palm Beach County circuit court system on October 2015 states that 123 East LLC, which is the address of Subculture, violated the terms of its lease agreement.

The allegation states that Rodney Mayo, who is a co-owner of Subculture, entered into a lease agreement with The Knight Group to allow the company to sublease the second floor of the property.

The subleased property is being used for an office, according to the complaint, which is against the terms of the lease that state the space can only be used for a restaurant.

In addition to violating the allowed use per the terms of the lease, the complaint states, the lease was entered into without seeking approval from Burke, which is also part of the lease agreement.

After a notice was sent about the violation, the complaint states it wasn’t cured during the allocated amount of cure time, per the lease contract.

A final judgment was issued on March 6. It states that Burke was entitled to recover $366,707.58 for accelerated rate with an interest rate of 4.75 percent and attorneys’ fees and costs. The ruling also gave him control over his property again.

Phone calls to Rodney Mayo and Burke’s attorney Howard DuBosar were not retuned.

The Knight Group will be relocating to its previous space at 10 SE First Ave. on the second floor.  Here is a statement from the company:

“When signing the lease for the space, The Knight Group was assured by the listing broker that all parties, including the property owner, approved the sublease. The Knight Group further sought and received a letter from the City of Delray Beach confirming proper zoning of the space to do business as a commercial real estate office. It is our practice to follow proper real estate procedure. The Knight Group was not aware there was an issue with the sub-lease until being notified after taking occupancy. The Knight Group appreciates the many fellow small businesses in Downtown Delray Beach opening their offices in this transition. We are relocating to 10 SE 1st Ave – 2nd Floor Delray Beach, FL 33444 where we were located previously. We are providing our clients with uninterrupted service as we have for over 25 years.”