A Real Deli Deal

A deli owner who sued one of the nation's largest landlords over an eviction has reached an agreement that will allow him to remain as a tenant until December 2004.

Daniel Jackson, attorney for deli owner Nadir Foteh, said the settlement was confidential, "but basically he'll be allowed to remain in the building until his lease expires." Foteh operates Freddy's Deli on the ground floor of the 1800 West Loop South building owned by Crescent Real Estate Equities. After nine years in business there, Foteh was ordered by Crescent to vacant the premises in two hours on January 25 (see "Freddy's Nightmare," by Brian Wallstin, February 21). Crescent claimed that it was ending the current five-year lease because Freddy's exhaust and grease trap systems had not been "adequately cleaned" and were a health hazard.

Foteh gained a court order postponing the eviction, pending a hearing before a justice of the peace. The case appeared headed for mediation, where Foteh hoped to convince Crescent to reimburse him for the three years remaining on his lease. Neither Jackson nor Crescent would comment on what led to the settlement.

Foteh had produced an invoice that showed he spent $575 to have the exhaust and grease systems cleaned before the attempted ouster. The eviction also elicited numerous letters of support for Freddy's from other tenants in the building.

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