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Charleys and Cralle settle lawsuits, restaurant and furniture merchant agree to new lease

A settlement has been reached between Charleys Waterfront Cafe and Farmville furniture merchant Richard F. Cralle Jr. following months of litigation over an alleged breach of contract  and an eviction attempt.

According to a press release from William Stanley, the attorney for Charleys, all claims in the litigation have been settled.

Part of the settlement includes a new five-year lease that will run through May 15, 2020, with a renewal option for an additional five years. The settlement also stated that Charleys will lease and commercially develop space underneath the restaurant as an extension of its current operations or for another business compatible with the restaurant.

“My client is extremely satisfied with the outcome of the litigation between the parties, which originally arose out of the long-standing contractual relationship with … Cralle and his business as the landlord of the premises,” Stanley said in the release.

“Charley’s is not only grateful for the long-standing relationship with …Cralle, it is also grateful that the parties could reach a mutually beneficial conclusion to their recent disagreement.”

Stanley said that the restaurant, which is located on Mill Street in Farmville, looks forward to continuing its prosperous relationship with Cralle and his company for the next 10 years.

“Charley’s will continue to serve its customers who frequent its establishment the highest quality food, service and atmosphere at quality prices, and looks forward to serving … Cralle’s clientele who visit Farmville to purchase furniture at Greenfront Furniture warehouses next to the restaurant,” he said.

In the release, Marshall L. Ellett, Cralle’s attorney, who also represented Southside Holdings, LLC, said his clients were “satisfied with the outcome of all current litigation between the parties.”

Charleys filed the civil suit against on July 16 in Prince Edward County Circuit Court civil suit  against Cralle, The Fat Frogg, LLC, of Elon, N.C., and North Carolina businessman Jeffrey D. MacKenzie. The suit sought a temporary and permanent injunction prohibiting a new restaurant from opening in the building.

Southside Holdings, LLC, managed by Cralle, filed a civil claim for eviction against Charleys in late July after the restaurant sued Cralle, alleging a lease between the two had expired.

“The warehouse in which the restaurant is located was originally owned and titled in the name of Richard F. Cralle, Jr.,” Ellett said, “but this warehouse and other properties belonging to … Cralle were transferred many years ago to Southside Holdings, LLC, which is a limited liability company primarily owned by [Cralle] and which warehouses are used by Green Front Furniture in conducting its retail furniture and furnishings business. …”

According to the release, with the settlement, the public should be able to “view the improvements that Charleys Waterfront Café, Inc. is expected to make within the next six months to the interior of the existing restaurant as well as the construction of a new outside deck area for the restaurant customers.”  

The restaurant has also “agreed to lease and commercially develop the basement area underneath the existing restaurant with a view of the river for an extension of its restaurant business or for another business compatible with the restaurant,” the release stated.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and the dismissal of the lawsuit included dismissal of claims against The Fat Frogg, LLC, and Jeffrey MacKenzie, according to the release, in circuit court and the withdrawal of the eviction suit in general district court.

Charleys has operated in Farmville for nearly 22 years.