Row over lease on restaurant
COTTESLOE Council has its ratepayer association’s backing to fight operators of the Indiana Restaurant in the Supreme Court over alleged lease and maintenance breaches at the iconic 1990s building on Cottesloe Beach.
“The community is now sick of the debate, after we have had a Supreme Court action in the late 90s, disputes over the toilets, disputes over the responsibility for maintenance, and now a further Supreme Court action,” association president John Hammond said.
Last Tuesday, restaurant operator, Melbourne-based Red Rock Leisure, served a Supreme Court writ on the council, after the latter sent a notice alleging the breaches last month. Mr Hammond said the association supported the council assuming control of the restaurant and defending the court action, and it advocated sharing repairs using a formula in the lease.
The council claims a contentious 50-year lease at the Indiana is in default because Red Rock failed to indicate if it would continue with 15 and 10-year options that could follow from a 25-year component of the agreement, due to expire on August 4.
“Further, the council is of the view that, based on the information provided by the tenant to date, the tenant failed to validly exercise the option, in any event,” chief executive Mat Humfry said.
The council also alleges Red Rock failed to conduct repairs at the restaurant, and Mr Humfry said the council anticipated Red Rock’s writ after its notice was served last month.
The notice also triggered cancellation of a previously councilbacked $4.2 million expansion of the restaurant in March. Mr Humfry said the council was prepared to go to court, but he would not define the “considerable” legal fees or say if Red Rock had said the restaurant would continue operating after August 4.
He said whether the council was liable for the building’s upkeep or mothballing after August 4 may depend on the outcome of the court case, which could take a year to be listed.
Red Rock Leisure also operates Fraser’s in Kings Park and The Old Brewery at Mounts Bay Road. Its Melbourne and Perth representatives did not reply before deadline.