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Police Respond to Dispute at Kitty O’Shea’s

by ARLnow.com August 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm 5,924 66 Comments

There was more bad blood over the shuttering of Courthouse-area Irish pub Kitty O’Shea’s (2403 Wilson Blvd) this afternoon.

The pub closed over the weekend, the culmination of a long legal battle between owner Danny McFadden and landlord Ray Schupp over McFadden’s lease. Today, just after 3:00 p.m., police were called to Kitty O’Shea’s for a dispute.

McFadden told ARLnow.com that he was moving items out of the building and got into a disagreement with the landlord over what belonged to whom. Police told the two parties to resolve the issue amongst themselves, McFadden said.

Within the past five minutes, police were called to the pub again after McFadden said the landlord had changed the locks.

  • ArlForester

    If we had a Douche of the year award in Arlington, I nominate Schupp.

  • Scooby

    Ruh-Roh, Raggy . . .

  • Steve

    I have an idea….lets all pledge to boycott whatever goes in there next..and make sure any future tennent knows it. It will make it darn tough to get anyone to sign a lease there.

    • DudeGuy


    • mickey644

      I guarantee a boycott from my friends and I

      • Bob32

        You mean “from my friends and me.”

        • Garden City


        • Tabby

          Sure, but let’s not let Steve get away with that atrocious misspelling of “tenant.”

        • well

          if you’re going to both to correct it, it’s “me and my friends” “___ and I” is used when it’s the subject of the sentence…

          • Tabby

            “Me and my friends”? I hope you are effing joking that you think that’s correct

          • drax

            when used at the end of a sentence, as in “I guarantee a boycott from me and my friends,” it is correct.

          • Chris

            It’s like a virgin slap fight. I can’t wait to see who’s the first to break out their Magik Missile or Lightning Bolt spells.

    • JS


    • Dremo’s!


    • AllenB

      Riiiight….. because 10 people from the comments section of Arlnow.com is going to scare off future tenants of a prime location on Wilson Blvd.

      • DudeGuy

        No but their friends and then their friends friends and then their friends friends friends… you get the point.

    • Me

      Thinking this same thing! The landlord sounds like a jerk.

  • Bill

    Before blaming the landlord, we should find out whether Kitty O’Shea’s was current paying its rent.

    • Captain Obvious

      Who cares if they were current? Multiple Virginia courts have found for the landlord. He’s obviously acting within his rights in evicting this guy.

  • Paul

    I hope all the area residents will join me in boycotting whatever happens to open in Kitty’s place. Particularly if the landlord opens a place on the site himself as he’s threatening to do. He does not deserve our patronage as he clearly does not care about the community.

  • BC

    And without trying to start a contentious debate, the landlord landed two summary judgements in court. That only happens when the judge concludes that there is no dispute on facts and that someone is clearly “in the right.” In other words, for all the glorious drunken nights at Kitty O’Shea’s, the evidence seems pretty strong that this guy is in the wrong.

    • RosRes

      +1000 for suggesting that we perhaps try to avoid jumping to conclusions without knowing all of the facts.

  • Dave

    I did a little deep research on the issue. Additionally I know Danny, and I know commercial real estate leases pretty well.

    Schupp purchased the property from the former owner, with whom Kitty’s had a lease with an option. In virtually all cases its the kind of thing you can’t break.

    When the original lease was signed there were 3 partners at Kitty’s…but that partnership dissolved incredibly fast….and formally.

    What virtually no small business people realize, with very complex 30,40,50,60, or 70 page leases written in legal language (that they should normally have attorney’s review on their behalf) are that the lease demands legal notification for all sorts of changes in business ownership.

    Evidently Danny never filed formal notice with the lease and the owner that the partnership had changed.

    Would most small business people be aware of that requirement??? Absolutely not.

    Are real estate smart people (experienced buyers) aware of this??? Absolutely yes.

    Its a way to declare technical default.

    Is it right or fair? Not in my mind, though the law and the courts seem to side with the very tight specifics of a case, when its a commercial transaction and there were lawyers on both sides of the original document.

    In reality though, once the lease is finalized the real estate attorney for the tenant leaves…and the tenant is on his own.

    Well, if Schupp puts in a bar, I won’t spend any money there.

    • Tre

      fade and scroll credits

    • OX4

      Do I ask myself questions and then answer them? Absolutely yes.

      • Rumsfeld

        Hey that’s what I do!
        Is that what I do?
        Yes of source I invented it!

    • General Zod

      I’m a broker who represents commercial tenants & when a tenant doesn’t exercise their renewal option within the stated time period, the tenant doesn’t have a right to stay in the space beyond the original expiration of the lease – Unless the LL is willing to work with the tenant on a month to month situation or a lease extension. However a tenant’s renewal option typically remains intact when the property conveys. Sounds like this guy just didn’t exercise his option prior to it expiring.

    • Sparlington

      And if Danny hadn’t completely burned that partnership bridge, then maybe he would have been in a better position. It was partially his responsibility that the partnership did not end as quickly or as formally as should have happened. Disputing over which things are his? Yeah…that’s happened before too. I hate to say it without knowing the guy well personally, but it seems like karma.

    • Ed

      I’m a lawyer with no specialty in the relevant subject matter, nor do I know any of the parties. Here are my two cents.

      If the lease required that the lessee notify the property owner of any changes in the business structure, he should have done it. It’s not a blind requirement that’s in there for the sake of including it. If a partnership dissolves, there’s usually a good reason for it, and it usually has to do with money. In many cases, there’s a great chance that your property leased to a partnership is now occupied by an undercapitalized sole proprietor. A landlord has the right to know of that change so he has some clue of what’s going on with the business and can be ready to reoccupy and market the property should the existing lessee fold.

      I knew to read a contract before I became a lawyer, too. I also knew that if I didn’t comprehend the contract, that I should pay a lawyer to explain it to me as part of my cost of doing business. If this person can afford to open a bar, he can afford $200 in legal fees to have the lease reviewed.

      I’m somewhat sympathetic because the landlord got him on a “technicality” but he only got him on it because the bar owner/lessee opened himself up to it. I’m more so sympathetic because this is ANOTHER small business run out of the Orange Line corridor.

      I have a hard time seeing decent small businesses getting run out of town, but it sounds like the owner had a hand in his own eviction. It’s a shame that the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, though, since a technical default of course does not REQUIRE that the landlord evict. I wonder what the underlying reason was.

  • No Kitty

    This is what happens when you refuse to pay rent. It’s too bad that so many of this publication’s readers refuse to look at the facts in an unbiased fashion. The landlord has every right to change the locks when (1) you are late on rent for several months (2) drag him/her through court unnecessarily (3) refuse to follow the verdict of several justices by removing items from the premises. I will gladly patronize any newcomer to this market. Why would you harm a new business out of spite for the previous business’ shortcomings?

    • drax

      “The landlord has every right to change the locks when (1) you are late on rent for several months (2) drag him/her through court unnecessarily”

      Absolutely false. He has none of these rights.

      He must follow the lease, and the law. Neither give him the right to do these things. For instance, an eviction requires a court order. He cannot simply change the locks whenever he has a dispute. And he sure as hell can’t do it because a tenant takes him to court.

  • matt in lyon park

    If Danny wasn’t paying rent, was there a reason? Possibly the landlord failed to make repairs, etc?

  • Kat

    I’m a lawyer and I have also done a bit of research here – Dave’s analysis is correct. Danny lost out on a legal technicality, and the landlord completely took advantage of the situation.

    • hahaha

      Oh, so you must be one of the many ultra-douchey types who has to make up for his lack of actual law-practice by professing he’s a lawyer. Perhaps you should look further into why the partnership dissolved, as Dave said, which nullified the lease. Could it be that perhaps the bar owner is a bag-of-dicks and no one could bear to partner with him?

      On that point, Dave’s analysis doesn’t make any sense either: “no small business owner would know” to formally file a change of partnership i.e. names on the lease. That’s ridiculous. Anyone who rents a house with his buddies — all of whose names are on the lease — knows that when one or more guys moves out, you have to get their names off the lease and the landlord must then re-consider the ability of the remaining tenants to pay the rent. It seems to me the landlord had every right not to extend this lease, ESPECIALLY since the supreme court upheld the verdict on multiple occasions.

      Some of you people need to think critically (as they teach you in law school) before telling everyone you’re an informed expert and taking sides….or for others, engaging in hyperbole and trying to organize a boycott. Go find some real cause to rally around…there’s plenty of other more clear-cut problems in the world to solve.

      • Greg

        Way to blast another poster for not thinking critically and then post something that makes no sense.

        You really think when people move out of a house the remaining tenant has to get their names off the lease or the landlord can cancel the lease? Have you ever rented an apartment? What really happens is those guys stay on the lease and remain jointly liable whether they move out or not. If the remaining tenant can’t pay, he breaks the lease and pays the penalty. It has nothing to do at all with this instance where the LANDLORD terminated the lease because there appeared to be a failure of the tenant to notify him that lessee entity had dissolved.

        You really need to read more carefully and think a little before you post something so rude and patently ridiculous at the same time.

        • Joe

          I’m not a lawyer, but my father is. That said. If There is a lease between persons A & B and Bad Landlord X, and there is an option for extension of the lease between persons A & B and Landlord X, I don’t understand how person A can claim to extend said lease without the consent of person B.

          We are talking about legally binding contracts right?

          In your example, if peoples names are on the lease they remain jointly responsible..as you say…Then don’t they have to be a part of any further legal actions? The person who stays can’t renew his lease without their consent can he?

          • Greg

            If the other comments are correct, there is no person A & B in the McFadden example. There is one entity, the Partnership. The Partnership apparently dissolved.

            Dave’s original post indicates that failure to notify the landlord of the dissolution was the reason for the breach. That makes sense and that’s a fairly common term in an agreement.

            It may also be that the option was not legitimately exercised because the Partnership had dissolved by that point. That’s also plausible.

            Those are very different from what “hahaha” puts Kat on blast for (that when a tenant moves out, “you have to get their names off the lease and the landlord must then re-consider the ability of the remaining tenants to pay the rent). That’s just gibberish.

          • Richard Cranium

            I’m not a dickhead, I just call myself one online.

          • Joe

            I did stay at a Holiday inn Express last night,

  • Kat

    To my knowledge it was not a rent issue. It was an option issue having to do with the lease and the dissolved partnership. Why is everyone so ready to hate on Kitty’s and assume he was not paying his rent?

  • Jim

    I am a former regular at Kitty’s, Mr. McFadden runs a fine local and I would always look forward to going when he was there. I wish him all the luck as this battle moves forward.

  • Schupp = DB

  • Just Me

    Refusing to go to the next business in that location does not hurt the landlord as much as the person trying to make a living in that location. Sure this land lord is an *** but the next renter is not.

  • I got that PMA

    I’m sure the next renter will be an Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar is the world’s casual dining leader, with over 2,000 restaurants in 49 states!!!!

  • Steve

    Why doesn’t someone actually try to find the court filings?

  • Steve

    Any Virginia lawyers here? Isn’t changing the locks “self help” which is forbidden?

  • chipotle_addict

    Seems there are two different arguments going on here, and some people don’t even see that.

    A: Schupp are douchebags for doing this.
    B: No, it’s actually their legal right.

    What “B” doesn’t realize is that “A” isn’t saying that Schupp isn’t doing anything illegal. Sometimes (often really) it’s perfectly legal to do something worthy of the douchebag title.

    While it may be legal, it sounds like the new owner is just using the change of partners as a loophole to get out, rather than it being the real reason. Is Schupp saying “uh oh, without the original partners this lease is just too risk, sorry Kitty O’Shea’s”? Not from how I read it. It sounds more like “uh oh, there are new potential leasers who will pay more, going to have to dig into the paperwork and find an excuse to terminate your lease, Kitty O’Shea’s”

    I’m kinda curious, for the lawyers posting, if Danny McFadden talked to his old partners and had them “come back” with .0001% ownership each or some other ridiculously small equivalent, would be enough to make the lease extension valid?

    End result in my case: I’ll boycott the new place, unless it looks really good, in which case I might just have to try it. This isn’t much of a change for me, as never went to Kitty O’Shea’s. The only real difference to me is that I’ll watch people walk in and out of some other establishment while I sit at five Guys eating a burger.

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  • Bergkamp
  • Swag

    Went there once and got charged about $12 for a watered down pitcher of Yuengling. F*ck em.

    • Aaron

      but you repeat yourself.

      I never got a warm vibe from Kitty’s no matter how often I went by. Some places just scream “regulars only!” and this was one of them.

      • Swag

        I would have been happy to be a regular since I work next door at AUSA and live a couple blocks away (and hate the big party bars in Clarendon), but like I said, f*ck ’em.

      • Tabby

        I agree. I stopped by recently to get a beer ($6.50 for a Yeungling draft?!) and found it cold and unwelcoming.

        • Tabby

          Must correct myself. I found the bar vibe cold and unwelcoming. The beer was merely tepid.

  • KalashniKEV

    That place was an eyesore and it always had a bunch of skeevs hanging out in front of it…

    I will patronize whatever goes in it’s place just to negate one (likely two) of you boycotters!

    (I just hope it’s not another LuluLemon!)

    • charlie

      no loss on this place.
      two times i tried to go, i found a place and bunch of faces that clearly indicated i wasn’t welcome.

    • AllenB

      I find myself agreeing with Kev on this one…. ugh… I hope I don’t lose my liberal card over this.

      • KalashniKEV

        I welcome you to stand with me on this one issue… but you have to turn your creepy Obama-portrait leader worship t-shirt inside out. 🙂

        • drax

          Leader worship? That’s the sound of freedom! BOOM!

          • Southeast Jerome

            I thought freedom sounded like drive thrus windows, big trucks and hunting rifles?

          • KalashniKEV

            Obama offers only the chains of slavery through increased dependency on Welfare and Entitlements.

  • Mr. Brown

    Kitty’s was the source of the worst food I’ve ever had at an Arlington tavern. Be sure to eat something before you go on saturday mornings during the World Cup.

    • Tabby

      It’s gone/finito. No need to give instructions at this point.

  • KalashniKEV

    Look at that beard-o… if you walked by, wouldn’t you assume he was getting arrested for something criminal?

  • sd

    I rented from Mr schupp years ago in a residential property he owned. Nice guy and I could tell he was a very sharp businessman. Not taking sides with this issue but I will share that his company gave me a welcome basket with snacks, cleaning kits, a laundry basket, and a full bottle of laundry detergent… They also let me rent the place without paying a monthly pet fee (most Arlington places charge through the nose) and no parking fee for the spot. As a landlord the company was very attentive when it came to any issues and let me break my lease early without any major issues when I had to move.

    I hate to see this mess for both parties involved.

    • Chad

      Mr. Schupp? Is that you?


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