Irish pub owners again looking to replace The Real Jerk

The Real Jerk restaurant on Queen Street East. The restaurant is moving after a lengthy battle with its landlord.

After The Real Jerk announced Tuesday that it will move out of 709 Queen Street East, the owners of the Irish pub that had been planned as its replacement say they are close to moving in again.

Rick Aulier and Scott Brockington had originally signed an agreement with the building’s landlord, Bill Mandelbaum, to become its new tenant on Feb. 1 and open An Sibin Irish Pub. But Mr. Mandelbaum’s attempts to evict Real Jerk owner Ed Pottinger spiraled into a protracted legal battle, prompting Mr. Aulier to call off the deal.

“We were out,” he said. “Things dragged on and we didn’t like what was happening over there so we decided we would try and make a change. But after exhausting a number of different possibilities, we are definitely looking at that as our viable option once again.”

Mr. Aulier says Mr. Mandelbaum has since made a big effort to lure the pub owners back into the Queen and Broadview building, which is up for lease. “He decided he would sweeten the pot in order to make it up to us for the things that had been done, so now we’re currently looking at a 10-year lease,” said Mr. Aulier. The original lease they were offered was for four years.

Mr. Aulier and Mr. Brockington have previous experience in the pub industry, having managed P.J. O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Quinn’s Steakhouse at the Sheraton Centre respectively. They had left their jobs expecting to open An Sibin earlier this year. If all goes well, Mr. Aulier expects to be Mr. Mandelbaum’s new tenant by June 1.

“We are definitely going through [the contract] with a fine tooth comb,” said Mr. Aulier. “We don’t want any more surprises because everything we were told turned out to be the opposite of the previous dealings.”

Source: Alex Nino Gheciu, National Post Staff

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