Stonewood Grill closes amid rent dispute


Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 5:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 5:42 p.m.

Stonewood Grill & Tavern shut down after 12 years Sunday with the landlord saying the restaurant came up short on its rent for two months.

Mike Warren, managing member of the property owner Plaza Royale Associates, said he got a call Sunday around noon asking if Stonewood was moving and went over to see people loading the restaurant’s equipment onto a truck.

Plaza Royale filed a lawsuit against Stonewood Gainesville LLC on June 11 for contract and indebtedness.

Warren said the restaurant owners paid a portion of the rent in May, telling him they were deducting a couple of years worth of expenses that included a new air conditioning system. He said that was the first notice about the expenses, although the lease called for the restaurant to notify Plaza Royale “and we would fix it.”

A call to Stonewood’s Ormond Beach headquarters was not returned Tuesday.

Stonewood Grill opened in 2001 in the outparcel in front of Plaza Royale at 3812 Newberry Road. The ownership group - which includes University of Florida booster Gale Lemerand - has 15 locations. Stonewood has the same owners as Peach Valley Cafe.

Lemerand was awarded a franchise agreement in March to open 10 Pie Five Pizza Co. locations in Florida, including Gainesville.

Warren said he has already had interest in the Stonewood location from real estate brokers and restaurateurs.

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