An eatery is suing a company owned by Jared Kushner, seen in 2014, over alleged flooding that led to the restaurant’s closure.
(Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 5:01 PM
When President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner bought some downtown real estate housing an eatery, he brought “feces and flies,” according to a new lawsuit.
A company owned by Kushner let flooding there get so bad that the restaurant had to close, the suit claims. The company allegedly refused to fix aging pipes in the building at McDougal St. near Bleecker St., resulting in flood waters that included human feces.
Meltkraft, a self-described “high-end” grilled cheese chainlet, opened a location there in summer 2014, and Kushner’s realty group acquired the building in April 2015, according to the suit, filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
While there were two sewage floods under the first landlord, the company had a “responsive” local manager. Kushner’s company, however, “clearly bought this property as a crumble (sic) of a larger portfolio, and treated the Premises and Tenant with disdain,” the suit says.
So when the sewer leaked — at least eight times under Kushner’s ownership — the “response to being notified of these floods of filth was usually to blame (Meltkraft) and do nothing.” While Kushner’s company snaked the pipes at least once, the process didn’t solve the problem, the suit claims.
“The nature of the floods was that they were composed not merely of water, but of waste, including human fecal matter,” the suit says. “Even after the floorboards were cleaned, they retained an odor from the sewage the wood had absorbed.
“Furthermore, various waste-feeding insects infested the space beneath the floorboards … and no amount of extermination would rid the space of them,” the suit adds.
Meltkraft says it typically completed cleanup and repairs “at its own expense.”
Kushner’s company also allegedly refused to fix the “illegal electrical connection” that provided power to Meltkraft.
Meltkraft on Macdougal St. in Greenwich Village is now closed after feces and flies were found at the eatery.
The restaurant ultimately left the location in July 2016 because the space “was no longer fit for use,” the suit claims.
For its part, Kushner’s company is suing Meltkraft, claiming it violated its lease by leaving the space.
“This lawsuit is nothing more than a retaliatory action by the plaintiff to avoid liability under its lease, and in response to a lawsuit filed by the landlord in September,” said Leo Esses, a lawyer for Kushner Cos. “We are confident we will prevail.”
Meltkraft’s lawyer, which is seeking about $ 500,000, said the floods could damage the company’s image.
“Obviously it’s a food establishment and one that’s trying to give the public high-end food at a reasonable cost,” said Neil Postrygacz. “The connection to human feces and flies may tarnish Meltkraft’s brand.”