Suit seeks eviction of Lucky Dill Deli

Behind in rent and utility bills, the restaurant says business is slow.

By BRENDAN WATSON, Times Staff Writer
Published November 9, 2007


Lucky Dill Deli's landlord has sued to evict the downtown restaurant, saying the deli owes $19,349.64 in unpaid rent and other expenses.

Mary Zavala, 21, one of the owners, said the restaurant fell behind in rent this summer.

"We don't get the same number of customers in the summer. A lot of people are away on vacation," said Zavala. "But even when we don't make the same amount of money, we have the same expenses."

Zavala, her husband, Cristian Zavala, 23, and her father, Paul de Vietien, purchased the deli at 400 N Tampa St. in June, assuming its lease under the business name University Oakwoods LLC. The Tampa deli is not affiliated with restaurants by the same name in Palm Harbor and St. Petersburg.

According to the lawsuit, Luck Dill didn't pay the full amount of the $6,600 per month rent for July or September, and paid no rent for October. Additionally, the deli owes money for electricity, maintenance and parking.

Mary Zavala said that she has reached an agreement with the landlord, PT Associates, to pay the outstanding expenses. The deli will have to borrow money, though it hadn't secured a loan as of Nov. 5, she said.

Randall P. Mueller, attorney for PT Associates, wouldn't comment because of the pending litigation. Colliers Arnold, PT Associates' property manager, also declined to comment. It was unclear early this week whether the deli paid its November rent or when the restaurant could be evicted if it didn't pay the past-due rent.