Barnhill’s sued for $137,000 in back rent

Barnhill’s sued for $137,000 in back rent
Caraway Plaza, Inc. sued the restaurant’s owners for $137,122.20 in delinquent rent and other charges. (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Barnhill’s Country Buffet, 1111 S. Caraway, may be closed for business but that does not mean its rent woes have disappeared.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Caraway Plaza, Inc. sued the restaurant’s owners for $137,122.20 in delinquent rent and other charges.

According to court documents, Star Buffet Management dba Barnhill’s Country Buffet extended its lease in July 2019 for an additional 3 years at a base rate of $7,700 per month.

In February of 2020, Caraway informed Star Buffet it was delinquent on rent and payment needed to be made as soon as possible.

The suit alleges Star Buffet promised to “cure its delinquency within 30 days.” However, Caraway says the restaurant failed to do so.

Eight months later, on Oct. 6, Caraway stated it notified Star Buffet again about its delinquency.

At that time the company, which was doing business as Barnhill’s, said it would present an “exit strategy within a week.”

Since then, the restaurant has been closed and no one from Star Buffet has communicated with Caraway Plaza, according to the lawsuit.

In addition to the back rent, court documents allege the restaurant “continues to occupy the premises with personal property and other furnishings.”

On Jan. 12, 2021, Caraway served Star Buffet with a three-day quit and demand letter ordering it to surrender possession of the premises.

“To date, Star Buffet continues to possess the premises and refuses to pay what is due and owing to Caraway, which currently is $137,122.20,” the lawsuit stated.

On Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Craighead County Circuit Court, the state issued a summons to Star Buffet notifying it of the lawsuit and demanding a written answer.

The court also issued a notice of intention to issue a writ of possession and a notice of right to consent to disposition of the case by a state district court judge.

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