Besito, a popular upscale Mexican restaurant in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square, closed for business on Monday, July 10, 2017.
By Ronni Newton
Besito failed to open for business on Monday, July 10, 2017, with patrons and workers arriving for lunch to find the doors locked and a sign indicating that the restaurant was sad to announce that it was unable to renegotiate the lease and would be closing its doors.
Besito was a very popular and highly-acclaimed restaurant in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square. It opened in 2009, and was known for its tableside guacamole, innovative menu, and margaritas. Many former patrons were extremely dismayed to learn of the sudden closing.
“We were unable to renegotiate with our landlord,” co-owner John Rieger told We-Ha.com in an interview Monday on the premises of the closed restaurant. “We really determined on Friday that the negotiation would not be fruitful.”
No specifics of the lease negotiation were requested, or provided, by Rieger or any other representatives of Besito.
Several hours after the story was published with no initial comment provided by the landlord in response to a request, Blue Back Square, the following statement was provided: “We are sorry to see that Besito is closing but unfortunately, we cannot discuss any details because it is subject to ongoing litigation.”
We-Ha.com learned Tuesday morning that the nature of that litigation, available as public record on the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch website, includes a filing against Besito West Hartford LLC and Besito Restaurants Holdings LLC by its landlord, Blue Back Square Holdings L.P., for the sum of $250,646.66. The case was filed by Blue Back Square’s attorneys in Hartford on June 28, 2017.
The $250,646.66 figure, according to a billing statement from Starwood Retail Partners (owner of Blue Back Square) and attached as an addendum to an affidavit signed by Blue Back Square’s general manager, represents unpaid rent as well as other charges dating back to September 2015.
In addition to the litigation filed requesting payment of the more than $250,000, in a case filed June 19, in Hartford, Blue Back Square requested eviction of Besito from 46 South Main St., Space A80, on the basis of non-payment of rent.
According to court documents, on July 5, the defendant requested a stay of proceedings and a request for additional information, but in a document filed Tuesday, July 11 Blue Back Square filed an objection alleging that the request for additional information was a stall tactic.
Blue Back Square management said Tuesday that it could not comment on pending litigation.
At the time of publication, Besito’s owner did not return a phone call requesting comment.
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