A Montgomery County judge last week ruled in favor of the landlord of the Fresh Grill restaurant, which was closed in 2012 after the landlord claimed excavation for a nearby apartment building caused structural damage.
Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin made a declaratory judgement in favor of the White Flint Express Realty Group in its complaint against Bainbridge, the developer of the 17-story, 200-unit “Bainbridge Bethesda” apartment still under construction at 4918 St Elmo Ave.
White Flint Express closed Fresh Grill (4905 Fairmont Ave.) and Dansez Dansez (4909 Fairmont Ave.) suddenly in March 2012 and put a fence around the building, claiming Bainbridge’s excavation near the back wall of its building caused cracks and structural damage that made the building unsafe.
After the sides argued in court on Nov. 21 and Nov. 25, Rubin ruled on Nov. 27 that Bainbridge breached its easement agreement with the landlord and “improperly and wrongfully asserted that it was not required to meet its obligations” to the agreement after White Flint Express terminated it on Feb. 27, 2012.
Part of a subsequent agreement involved administration of a crane swing, tie back and swing scaffolding on the construction site, which is next door to the one-story restaurant building.
Fresh Grill has been closed since March 2012, with no signs that it will reopen. When it closed, Dansez Dansez reported the building damage happened on Feb. 14, 2012. The dance studio has since moved to Norfolk Avenue.
It’s unclear what this means for Fresh Grill.
The above photos are from architect Steven J. Karr, who worked as a consultant on the easement agreement for the building’s landlord, Lenny Greenberg. On Friday, Greenberg said he had no comment.
A representative for Bainbridge or Fresh Grill could not be reached on Friday afternoon.
In his ruling, Rubin ruled in favor of the landlord’s motion for a partial summary judgement and said Bainbridge would be responsible for the landlord’s legal fees.
Photos via Steven J. Karr