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Trouble at Taco Mundo in Preston Royal: Caroline Galvan-Rodriguez Sues Landlord Over Lockout

On June 19, I wrote : “Somebody tell Caroline Galvan-Rodriguez that we are in a down economy—she is opening four new restaurants before August 4th…in late July, the former wife of MCrowd founder Mico Rodiguez, will open her first location of Taco Mundo at Preston Royal and a second location on August 4th.”

Well, it is November 23 and Ms. Rodriguez is now involved in a messy lawsuit with her Preston Royal landlord, Southeast Preston/Royal, LTD, Trademark Preston Oaks, Inc. The legal action was filed by Ms. Rodriguez on November 2. According to the paperwork, she has been locked out of the Preston Royal location since October 20. She claims to have already invested $500,000 in the space which was originally scheduled to open in July.  The battle is over when the lease became effective and at what point the landlord had the right to lock her out for failure to open. (The whole document is here.)

Is this a preemptive strike against a landlord who did not see the an opening on August 4,  September 4,  October 4, or November 4?  (According to Robert Willonsky over at Unfair Park, Rodriguez applied for a liquor license on November 26, 2008.) I’ve left a message at Trademark Preston Oaks, Inc. Stay tuned. Developing.

25 comments on “Trouble at Taco Mundo in Preston Royal: Caroline Galvan-Rodriguez Sues Landlord Over Lockout

  1. No, I’m on a PC, but it’s working now. Before it was returning a 404 file not available error, FWIW.

  2. On a side note…. I went to Carolina’s restaurant on 190/Rosemeade today and the food was great as always and it finally seems to be drawing more of a crowd. I thought these 1st 2 locations were the reason for the slow openings of the Taco Mundo’s, but maybe not….

  3. That is too bad, her “Carolina’s” locations are both good. Not sure what the difference was going to be between Taco Mundo and Carolina’s, if any, but hopefully they get it all worked out because it would be nice to having something in that space, it has been empty for a while now.

  4. So tenant signed the lease in April, had 150 days to complete construction and open, didn’t do it, signed a lease amendment extending them till mid-October, still didn’t finish construction and open, and the landlord locked them out. Cry me a river. Galvan-Rodriguez bit off more than she could chew. End of story.

  5. Twinwillow I agree someone said she paid the rent for Sept.
    and had the construction company ready to go full steam because they were working on her other place.
    I would be doing the same thing if I had invested 500k,
    paid September rent and then they do that ! DIIIIRRRTTTY
    I would be careful dealing with Trademark if that is the kind of landlords they are,wow that is scary. I wonder if the rumor that MCrowd was instrumental in this is true, the Preston/Forest Mi Cocina customers were sure to visit her.NN you seem to really enjoy exposing her in an unfavorable light. What did she ever do to you? Does your relationship with **** Washburg sway you? Time to take the gloves off if I were CGR.

  6. If she had any businees sense she would have concentrated on getting the Taco Mundo at Preston Forest up and running. Then ,when everything stabilized she could start expanding.
    Instead she wasted to much time, money and reputation opening up 2 bottomless money pits.

  7. Give me a break – several suppliers and at least one construction firm I have spoken with say that Galvan-Rodriguez has not been paying her bills. NN did all of us in the restaurant industry a favor by laying bare the facts surrounding Las Colinas Prime. My suspicion is that she’s been holding back and knows more than she’s telling about Galvan-Rodriguez. It’s not fair for those of us who pay our bills on time to have to compete with the likes of G-R.

  8. Deanne,
    Lawsuits involving restaurants are public information. I report them when I find them. I do not know Ms. Rodriguez or have any personal agenda. However, unpaid vendors do talk.

  9. If you think that the folks at Landmark sit around rubbing their hands in glee over having a space remain empty for months beyond the agreed upon opening date you’re wrong. At some point they have to move on. If they really believed that the place was about to open they would not have pulled the plug. Watch out for slippery facts too: how much of the finishout was in fact paid for with tennant finish allowance dollars provided by the landlord? Could the lawsuit be an attempt to avoid having to repay those funds?

  10. I’d be willing to bet that the judge issues a summary judgment in favor of the landlord. She’s in breech of contract by not fulfilling the terms that she agreed to. A Landlord is right in saying that it is doubtful that a landlord, especially in this economy and even moreso when the landlord is having as many problems as Trademark is right now, would lock out a tenant unless it was obvious she wasn’t going to open and pay her bills.

  11. According to the document she was never delivered an executed contract so technically the contract would not be valid.

  12. In today’s real estate world there is no possible way any landlord would choose to lock out a tenant until/unless they had exhausted all possible options and gone to the edge of the cliff trying to make it work. Many landlords are in a position that they are having to abate/reduce/renegotiate leases in order to keep from having a bunch of dark spaces in their centers. And it is very likely that the majority of the finish out for this space was paid for by the Landord through T.I. allocation money. CR-G made the mistake/had the misfortune to open all these restaurants in the worst possible year and she is suffering bigtime. Check for liens filed on her existing properties and I’ll bet you will find a stack of them. Everyone loses here (except, of course the ones who ALWAYS win – attorneys :)), and I would bet that her lawsuit is pre-emptive at best – lookin for any loopholes that would allow her to walk the deal and not repay the T.I. money

  13. G Bertram says “In today’s real estate world there is no possible way any landlord would choose to lock out a tenant until/unless they had exhausted all possible options and gone to the edge of the cliff trying to make it work.”

    You are wrong. Due to a confidentiality agreement I can’t go into specifics but there is a landlord in town that uses scorch the earth tactics to destroy businesses and their owners. Any attempts to work out a settlement or lease renegotiation is ignored.
    You would think that landlords would try and avoid empty space but there are other factors in play. You are right about the attorneys though.

  14. Just checking in with the latest. I find it interesting and I really do think you have a personal agenda with CR. you say lawsuits are public information and you post when you find them. It seems like this one was blatantly divulged by you. I like your reference “On June 19th I Wrote,” do you want a pat on the back? I don’t understand why you seem to enjoy writing about her difficulties. Life is hard enough without someone like you who feels they have a right to expose peoples personal journeys. You must feel good about yourself.

  15. Oh and another thing NN, when you referenced Robert Willonsky over at UNFAIR PARK it seemed like you just recieved this info, maybe you did or did you do research to juice up your story. I was curiuos and went to UNFAIR PARK and I had to search for Taco Mundo because as you know everyday stories get buried with new ones coming in so WOW that one would have been really down the line. I might be mistaken but I find it interesting for someone who does not have an agenda to research like you do. Your info was from a blog he posted in November very appropriate and I loved his reference to her just being one mambo taxi away from the Mi Cocina at the next intersection!

  16. Deanne, every once in a while a loose cannon shows up in the comments of the blogs who seems to have an agenda which reveals such a great personal animosity for the host that I just can’t help recommending that they seek professional help. You are just such a case. It’s easy to see that if you are not CGR, you are someone with a very close personal relationship to her and it is coloring everything you say. In the future your life will be far less stressful if you simply ignore Sidedish and spend the time on a psycologist’s couch. Hopefully you will become a far more pleasant person and everyone around you (along with the regular readers of this blog) will appreciate it.

  17. Dr.Frodo- I am actually considered a very pleasant person,we all have a right to our opinion. I am sorry if I bring such a negative response from a “Reader” I promise you that is not my intention. I am not CGR and yes I was a fan of the Mi Cocina creation and yes I am looking forward to their new ventures.

  18. Deanne, “do you want a pat on the back”, “Life is hard enough wihtout someone like you”. The girls in the 7th grade have a name for women who make statements like that and it isn’t “a very pleasant person”. Since you cannot seem to see the bile in your statements which most readers would call attacks on Nancy, I stand by my recommendation that you get a therapist to help you see the error in your thinking. Buy an extra hour and have them explain narcissistic rage too (it might be helpful).

  19. Dr Frodo,”bile”,narcissistic rage” that is hilarious! I am only pointing out the obvious and actually you are really out of line. It seems like you are the one with the personal relationship with our Hostess! How gallant of you if I didn’t know better I would think you were her boyfriend defending her,but I know that probably is not so because my sources say that relationship is WASH & Burned out!
    Whew maybe now people can get unbiased reporting.Oh and thanks for the good laugh.

  20. Anyone doing business with her should not expect to be paid. The landlord had every right to lock her out. She is owes practically everyone involved with her attempts to be a restauranteur. It was not the landlord that prevented her from opening but her own lack of experience and poor business decisons.