Michael Costa has fought a long battle to keep his paws on The Office Grill. However, after two lawsuits, five lawyers, and one too many hot checks, this morning Costa was slapped with a warning to vacate the premises. Costa and crew have until 10AM tomorrow morning to turn over the keys. “I posted a warning to vacate this morning,” Collin County Deputy Constable Harris from Precinct 3 in Plano. “The writ tells him to turn it to the landlord tomorrow morning. It’s my job to see he turns the property back to the landlord.”
The writ could be the final blow for Costa’s vigorous attempt to keep his business alive despite a legal battle with his landlord Scott Larson (18020 N. Dallas Parkway Partners, LTD) that began on June, 2011. Through a series of twist and turns including switching lawyers, countersuits, and appeals, Costa managed to buy himself some time. However, on January 18, 2012, the Court of Appeals dismissed Costa’s case. (Public documents here and here.)
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Costa’s battles began the minute he opened the doors to The Office Grill early March 2011. Over the last year, I have chronicled his history of writing bad checks to employees and vendors and his run-ins with the TABC.
November 3, 2010: Controversial Restaurateur Michael Costa is Back in the Restaurant Business.
May 27, 2011: How Michael Costa Keeps Screwing Restaurants.
June 22, 2011: Something is Going on With Michael Costa at The Office Grill.
September 9, 2011: Michael Costa of The Office Grill Arrested.
September 20, 2011: Michael Costa Arrested by TABC.
October 12, 2011: Michael Costa Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
About two months ago, I started getting more calls from unpaid workers and I began following the legal proceedings. This morning, after I learned that Costa received an order to vacate the premises, I drove to the Office Grill. Costa and another person were loading equipment from the restaurant into a trailer. Does this mean he will vacate the property at 10AM tomorrow morning? After watching him juke and jive around the law for the last year, I suppose anything is possible. The courts have decided in favor of the landlord. And Deputy Harris of the Plano Police Department tells me he will be there, with backup, at 10AM.