New Landlord Locks Doors On Buckfield Tavern And Owner Sues
If you were driving through Buckfield on Route 117, you might miss the little tavern sitting in this rural Maine town unless you spotted the waving 'open' flag beside the road. The open flag is gone, for now, as a lawsuit is filed against the new landlord of the building that has been the home to Captain Bly's Tavern.
According to the Sun Journal, the building was sold to Lee Johnson who decided he wanted to open his own restaurant on the property called the Buck-it Grill & Pub. So he locked the doors on the building, preventing Captain Bly's Tavern owner Mark McAlister from entering and running his business. He had to inform his loyal customers on Captain Bly's Facebook page while he tried to sort things out.
Things never got sorted out.
McAlister ended up filing a lawsuit against Johnson claiming his lease was good through the end of 2018, and as we all know, new landlords must honor existing leases unless the two parties can come to some sort of agreement like a buyout.
The Buckfield town manager assumed that the sale included everything in the building, but now with this pending lawsuit, the town has put a hold on the new owner's application for a permit and liquor license to operate his restaurant until this all gets settled in court.
Crazy. On the face of it, it looks like this new building owner has a weak case for locking up the building. People are out of work, money is being lost and equipment and belongings aren't accessable. Is there more going on here than we know about? We'll have to wait and see.
For now though, Captain Bly's ship is in port waiting to get the all clear to set sail again.