Fattoni's Deli & Catering, 7212 W. North Ave., was shut down for good Sunday, with owner Tony Mandella's landlord claiming he was in arrears on his rent.
"He was kicked out after not paying me rent for two years," said Pete Venturi, who owns the historic Arcade Building that housed Fattoni's.
Mandella purchased the business three years ago from Venturi and his wife, Sue, who ran the deli for 14 years under their own name.
Venturi said Mandella paid his rent the first year, but since then he owes almost $100,000 in unpaid rent.
Looking for a tenant
Venturi said he was trying to recruit a new tenant, and a big sign in the window advertises the space as for rent, with Venturi's phone number.
The sudden closing should not come as a surprise to regular customers, Venturi said. Business was slow, and stock was low, he said.
"There was never anybody in there," he said.
Venturi said his contract with Mandella allowed him to take the space back at any point.
'Above the fray'
Mandella, contacted by phone, said he didn't want to discuss it.
"I'm going to stay above the fray, and I'm going to show some class," he said.
"When something like this happens you just kind of re-evaluate and regroup and see what you're going to do moving forward," he said. "Throughout it all I think it's just better to stay above the fray. There's a lot of different factors. I don't need or want to get into them all, and I think it's inappropriate for someone else to comment on that."
He said he would miss the North Avenue location.
"I love the community, I hope I did some nice things for some people, unfortunately from a business point of view it just didn't work out."
The Arcade building, which has apartments on its upper floors, holds a 2013 city assessment of almost $1.6 million, and an estimated fair market value of $1.5 million, according to the city assessment website.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Hawaiian grocery crowd-funds commercial kitchen
- Wauwatosa School District creates new mobile app
- Tosa responds to concerns about radiation from water meters
- Authorities release name of 14-year-old drowning victim in Wauwatosa
- Wauwatosa Biz Buzz: July 24, 2014
- Business Notes: July 24, 2014
- Wauwatosa Police Report: July 24, 2014 issue
- Wauwatosa police link car thefts to those in Milwaukee County
- Hart Park Senior Center looks for new operator
- Former Wauwatosa priest appears in court after several missed appearances