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Playa Del Carmen's is shuttered


Mexican eatery closed in lease standoff



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The owners of Playa Del Carmenís are weighing their legal options after the eatery was repossessed by property owners Romís Restaurant Inc. last month. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
December 07, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Residents wishing to dine at the Playa Del Carmen's Mexican restaurant recently have had to make plans to eat elsewhere, as the restaurant staff has been barred from entering the premises.

A notice posted to the front door of the restaurant at 179 Main St. states that Rom's Restaurant, Inc., the landlord of the building, took possession of the premises on Wednesday, Nov. 24 because the leaseholder of the property, Rivera Maya, Inc., "abandoned the premises." Rivera Maya, Inc. is the parent company of the Playa del Carmen's franchise, which operates another restaurant in Holden.

The notice on the door also informs residents that the Sturbridge Police Department will be notified if Rivera Maya, Inc. employees return to the property, citing Paragraph 8(6) of the lease as enabling the landlord to repossess a building if a tenant abandons it.

Playa del Carmen's owners, however, maintain that they never vacated the building. According to restaurant manager Carmen Scaffidi, Rom's Restaurant, Inc. neglected to provide necessary maintenance to the building, and then unjustly prohibited the staff from returning to work.

"We were forced to close the week before Thanksgiving because there was no heat in the building," Scaffidi said. "The owners ignored our requests and did nothing to fix the heating problem. They had no right to keep us from going back to the restaurant, especially since we were current on all of our rent payments."

When Scaffidi and other restaurant staff members arrived at the restaurant on the morning of Nov. 24, they found the notice on the front door indicating Rom's Restaurant, Inc had repossessed the building.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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