by Max Brantley
A Times Insider this week reported (and the D-G followed up today) the news that Boulevard Bread Co.was moving into the River Market. Owner Scott McGehee said he'd struck an agreement that would put a full-service outlet in the space now occupied by Andina Cafe, beginning in November. We thought that was good news.
Nita Westbrook doesn't think the news is so good. We've gotten a call from her lawyer, Ray Pierce. He says Westbrook purchased the cafe operation earlier this year and in March signed a lease extension with the River Market through October 2009. Pierce said Westbrook has been paying rent and otherwise operating as the lease requires. She's concerned that the news could harm her business.
Pierce said Shannon Light, who manages the River Market, had told him she was unaware of an agreement with McGehee. So far, we haven't gotten a return call from Light. We talked with McGehee, however, who said he'd signed his lease with Light. He understood Westbrook would be moving to another location in the River Market and was chagrined to learn she hadn't been informed of the change. River Market leases reportedly contain a clause that says tenants may be moved to another location in the market at the market's expense.
More when and if.