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Restaurant at Kennedy Behind Nearly $55,000 in Rent, Utilities

Kennedy Restaurant Group LLC owes the City of Trenton and a contracting company that performed work at the restaurant a combined $85,500.

After just six months in operation, the new restaurant at Kennedy Recreation Center owes the City of Trenton about $55,000 in back rent and utility costs.

Legends 1926 Bar and Grill, located on the second floor of the ice arena, has fallen into default after not paying several rent and utility payments since opening in March, according to City Administrator Jim Wagner.

Wagner said negotiations are currently underway to resolve the financial issues, as well as issues regarding the security of the building.

"We do not have a revised agreement in place," Wagner said.

A recent agreement with the Kennedy Restaurant Group LLC allowed the city to reopen the main floor concession stand, which was closed after the restaurant opened.

Wagner also negotiated utility costs, which he said were grossly underestimated when the city initially entered into a contract with the restaurant group.

The restaurant group currently pays 5 percent of the total utility costs for the entire ice arena building. However, Wagner said 5 percent is not enough to cover the total usage at Legends.

Recently, city administration consulted Honeywell to come up with an estimate of the anticipated utility costs for the restaurant. The consultant estimated the city was subsidizing about $2,500 per month in utility costs for the restaurant.

Wagner is currently negotiating with the restaurant group to lower the monthly rent from $3,500, while increasing their financial responsibility for utilities to either direct billing or 12 percent of all utilities for the building.

Direct billing would allow DTE Energy to bill the restaurant diectly.

The restaurant group is disputing the city's estimated utility costs, according to Wagner.

The city isn't the only entity to which the restaurant group owes money.

The restaurant group owes RAM & Sons Building & Contracting about $25,500 for work performed at Legends, according to RAM & Sons owner Russ McNamee.

RAM & Sons has placed a lien on the Kennedy Recreation Center due to nonpayment. However, it is illegal for a lien to be placed on a public building.

McNamee would not comment on the legal issues regarding the lien, but said it would be lifted after the total overdue amount is paid.

Wagner said there are also security concerns regarding the hours in which the restaurant is closed. Wagner wants the restaurant group to secure Legends during hours in which the restaurant is closed, but the ice arena is open. Legends opens at 4 p.m. and Kennedy opens at 9 a.m.

A representative of the Kennedy Restaurant Group LLC could not be reached for comment.

Keech October 02, 2012 at 06:17 PM
And yet they bought a new pizza oven?
ttownmom October 03, 2012 at 10:15 AM
I hope no members of the city council are part owners of this LLC.
Les October 03, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Another fiasco at Kennedy ------- the Metal Jackets two years ago and now Legends. Maybe it is time to get out of the arena business and sell the facility to a private concern and let them operate it as a profit making business. It amazes me how government thinks it can do everything ---- no where in the constitution does government have the job of running ice arenas.
michelle October 03, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I hate to say it but Les may have a point...
Sandy October 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM
What happened to the previous owners of the restaurant group? I heard that two members of the LLC are no longer part of the restaurant group. What happened to them? Why did they leave the group? Are they still responsible for part of the financial debt?
Sandy October 10, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Also, why are they using a contract company from Indiana (RAM and Son's Construction)? The construction permit was pulled by Brown-Schroeder and Co. Why involve the RAM and Son's construction from Indiana? What is going on? Do they still owe Brown-Schroeder and Co. as well?
suzyq October 22, 2012 at 05:14 PM
@nate: your silence speaks volumes. @sandy: great questions posed a week ago and still no answer.
Steve jones October 26, 2012 at 08:26 AM
The two members were forced out before the llc was signed, because the other members wanted a larger percentage of the business. However, they were the ones with experienced in bar & restaurant operations. I know the former partner/chef personally because he is my mentor and one of Detroit's most respected chefs. My fellow culinarians and I were upset on how this inexperienced restaurant group used his reputation to help get this restaurant off the ground and then forced him out once they got what they needed from him. This so called restaurant group is just shady!
suzyq October 26, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Shady is an understatement. They continue to operate the business and have no intention of paying. Who does that? If they truly had any integrity, they would be paying their bills. Meanwhile, recreation programs are being cut or drastically reduced. Thank goodness my children have school athletics at Arthur's to rely on.
steve jones October 28, 2012 at 07:47 AM
Brown-Schroeder is part owners of legends.
Sandy October 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM
@Steve - Is Brown-Schroeder still part owners of Legends, or are they one of the partners that were forced out along with your friend. HOw many partners were forced out? Do you know their names? If you would like to talk about this offline, let me know. I have a very big interest in this subject. Any info you have would be helpful. Thanks!
Sandy October 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Nate, any updates to this story and/or the restaurant group? Are the forced out partners responsible for the debt? Is Brown-Schroeder still part of the Kennedy Restraunt Group, or are they considered one of the partners that were forced out?
Steve jones November 01, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Brown-schroeder is the onwers of lengends and forced out the other two partners. the manager of legends, ron is the v.p. of brown-schroeder.
Steve jones November 01, 2012 at 04:35 AM
@ sandy, my mentor has no vested intrest with lengends. as for as he is concerned, he chucked it up as a loss and life lesson learned about doing bussiness. i have been keeping him updated about whats has been happening at the arena because i care about trenton. so if you want to talk to him, i can set it up. i dont think he has a problem with talking to you or anyone else.

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