The 5 & Diner at Arizona Mills Mall owes a lot more than nickels and dimes to its parent corporation and has breached its franchise agreement, a federal lawsuit claims.
Valerie Nabasny, who has owned the mall location since 2001, stopped making required payments in 2009 and now owes more than $120,000 in royalties and interest, claims the corporation, 5 & Diner North American, LLC, of Massachusetts.
A franchise agreement between "FDNA" and Nabasny has been terminated, but Nabasny is ignoring a cease-and-desist order sent out January 31, according the federal complaint filed yesterday.
The lawsuit says Nabasny was supposed to pay a yearly fee plus 5 percent in gross earnings for the rights to use the 5 & Diner motif. Nabasny's ex-husband, Robert, is also named as a defendant.
The corporation wants a federal judge to order the mall eatery to stop using 5 & Diner signage immediately and remove from the premises all the signature features like chrome, red-and-silver vinyl booths, those cute little tabletop jukeboxes and the employees' 1950s-style costumes. Financial re-compensation and attorneys' fees are also being sought.
Nabasny wasn't at the location when we called, but an employee said she'd hand the phone to Nabasny's "boyfriend." A man who said his name was Bill then picked up the phone, but Bill said he hadn't yet seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Sean Carroll of Gordon & Rees, LLP, a lawyer for the parent corporation, said he can't comment without the okay from his client. He said he'd give a message to the 5 & Diner company.
The company's Web site was still advertising the Arizona Mills Mall location as of this morning.