- June 24, 2021
Red Robin fans have less than a week left to enjoy gourmet burgers and bottomless fries in Winter Garden Village.
Andrew Alkire, managing partner at the location, confirmed on Facebook the eatery would be closing its doors April 30.
“We will continue to look for other options in the Winter Garden area, but for the time being, come by and see our amazing team members for the great service and food you are used to,” he wrote on Facebook. “Thank you so much for supporting us and making Red Robin your go-to place for burgers.”
Red Robin, located at 3310 Daniels Road in the Winter Garden Village shopping plaza, has been at the center of an ongoing lawsuit since Nov. 18, 2022, when the company sued DDR Winter Garden LLC, which owns the property, for a breach of contract.
The litigation is between Red Robin parent company Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Red Robin International Inc. and Ohio-based Site Centers Corp. subsidiary DDR Winter Garden LLC.
Red Robin’s complaint pertains to the company’s attempt to extend its original lease, which was signed in 2012.
According to court documents, the lease allegedly provided the tenant an option to extend its original 10-year term by three to five years, provided it did so by June 3, 2022.
Red Robin alleged it communicated with DDR Winter Garden staff on several occasions regarding its intent to extend the lease, even dating back to February 2022.
A countersuit was then filed by DDR Winter Garden Dec. 1, 2022.
Court documents show Site Centers sent Red Robin a letter on June 21, 2022, in which executives state that because the business had not taken action to extend its lease, the option was considered to be waived. Therefore, the lease would end Nov. 30, 2022.
Additionally, court documents, show DDR Winter Garden’s counterclaim asks for judgment for possession of the property and for damages incurred due to the landlord’s inability to deliver the property to a prospective tenant for that space.
Site Centers Director of Property Management Kerri Ryan declined to comment regarding the property or the litigation.
Although closure due to litigation has not been confirmed by executives from Red Robin, executives from Site Centers, or from either legal team, an employee on duty at Red Robin Thursday, April 20, said an issue with the lease was the reason behind the closure.
In addition, Alkire shared the following on Facebook: “Yes we are closing, and it is not due to any fault of our team members or revenue,” Alkire wrote. “We just couldn’t reach a lease agreement with the property owner.”
Orange County Clerk of Courts records show the case is still open and pending, as of press time.
Local resident Tracey Norton said her family always has loved Red Robin, as she and her husband grew up in Washington where the restaurant was born.
“We’ve brought all of our kids throughout the years to several Red Robin locations,” she said. “Many birthday celebrations have been there, as well just getting together with friends and their families. We will miss having a Red Robin nearer to us … my kids grew up in Winter Garden. I can’t tell you how excited I was to first hear about a Red Robin coming to town since we’ve had to drive to much farther locations here in Florida to enjoy our burgers. We were on Thanksgiving vacation back in 2012 when it first opened, but as soon as we got back home, we went! Lots of memories there; we are very sad to see it close. Fingers crossed that they’ll open another location again outside of Orlando.”
Resident Mary Seketa agreed.
“I will miss this location, because it’s the closest one to us,” she said. “I have so many memories from there over the years. It became a comfort restaurant for me and friends over time. I know everyone has been saying just go to the other locations, but it’s not the same and never will be!”
The space at WGV is marketed and leased locally by Colliers Executive Vice President Jorge Rodriguez and Vice President Chris Alders.
Although Rodriguez declined to comment on the matter, and Alders could not be reached for comment, a Colliers property flyer shows the space Red Robin currently occupies to be available.
According to court documents, Red Robin also accused the defendant of disregarding the notice to replace the eatery with a higher-paying new tenant. In addition, documents show “DDR’s counsel advised Red Robin’s counsel that DDR had secured a new tenant for the leased premises.”
The name of the possible tenant is not mentioned in court documents, but the worker on duty at Red Robin on Thursday, April 20, said they had been told the tenant is Torchy’s Tacos.
With more than 90 locations, Torchy’s Tacos delivers menu items including breakfast tacos, signature tacos, chips and queso, salads, burritos, and margaritas.
Torchy’s Tacos representatives did not respond to repeated attempts seeking comment or confirmation as of press time Tuesday, April 25.