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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Halifax cafe in uproar over scuttlebutt

Ireland32 owner seeks to quash rumours about business handover

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Ireland32 enjoyed their grand opening early in the month of June, with Noel Gallagher having taken over the popular Quinpool spot Carlitos from previous owner Carlos Wong. When the changeover happened, Gallagher was the building owner. Shoptalk spoke to Wong back in March, who told us that though relations with his landlord were good, the reason he couldn’t continue with his business was because the rent had been raised. “A little bit drastic,” is how he described the increase to Shoptalk.

Gallagher has been in touch wanting to give his side of the tale. He says that the rumour that Wong was muscled out and forced to sell the business to Gallagher is untrue.

He says Wong had been paying a fixed rate of $1,100 a month for rent on the place for six years. “For his new lease term…we increased the rent to $1,300 to absorb the cost in new work done on the building along with new siding and increase mortgage rate,” writes Gallagher in an email. “Carlos came to us and said it was too high, he couldn't afford it. We went back to Carlos, told him we would work with him so we'd keep his current rent fixed at $1,100, but Carlos refused. We then offered him to go month-to-month of $1,100 so he could have the opportunity to sell the business and make a profit for himself---still he refused…. We tried everything to help him keep his business in operation but he simply lost interest and motivation in the business. We offered Carlos money for the cafe, to keep it up and running but also allowing Carlos to make a profit. In the end, Carlos was very happy with the transaction.”

Gallagher says the rumour that he bullied his former tenant, that he wanted to raise the rent to $1,700---something he absolutely denies---is brought up to him at his new business regularly. He believes it has “a serious effect and can take a toll on our reputation.”


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