Landlord suing Mo’s Irish Pub for $100K in rent, liquor permit

The landlord of Mo’s Irish Pub in Noblesville is suing the owner of the now-closed restaurant for allegedly failing to pay more than $100,000 in rent and other fees, in addition to reneging on an agreement to transfer its three-way alcohol permit back to the landlord.

Hamilton Town Center LLC filed the suit against Wisconsin-based Arbed Indy LLC on Thursday in Marion Superior Court.

Mo’s Irish Pub operated for 10 years at 13193 Levinson Lane in the Hamilton Town Center complex before closing in late July. It initially told diners that it was closed for renovations, but it then dropped off the website for the purveyor of Irish fare, which still operates six restaurants in Wisconsin and Texas.

The manager of Hamilton Town Center confirmed the closure to IBJ in early August.

In the four-page lawsuit, Hamilton Town Center alleges that Mo’s owner Arbed was responsible for paying rent, real estate taxes and other fees under the terms of the lease. Arbed still owes $102,821, according to the suit.

In addition, the landlord says that it agreed to transfer a liquor, beer and wine permit to Mo’s, with the stipulation that it would have the exclusive option to repurchase the permit upon termination of the lease.

Although the lease has ended, Arbed "has refused to honor plaintiff’s option and has refused to grant an convey the permit back to the plaintiff,” the landlord claims.

Hamilton Town Center is seeking the delinquent lease payments and attorney’s fees with interest, and that the court compel Arbed to grant the option on the liquor permit.

The Mo’s Irish Pub chain was founded and is still owned by restauranteur John Vassallo, who is listed in state corporation records as the manager of Arbed. He did not immediately return messages from IBJ seeking comment on Monday.

Vassallo also owns Mo’s … A Place for Steaks, which had an Indianapolis location until late last year. Last fall, Vassallo closed his Mo’s … A Place for Steaks downtown Indianapolis location, citing intense competition among steakhouses in the area.

He reopened the restaurant at 15 E. Maryland St. earlier this year as Nook, a Paleo-influenced diner.

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