Notice anything odd about this picture? Hint: this is not a toilet showroom. It's a restaurant bathroom. In fact it's one of our restaurant bathrooms. This is a wonderful example of my landlord's following the letter of the law while completely ignoring its spirit.
In order to get an occupancy permit for the building he had to install a certain number of toilets. This he did. However, I would like to believe the intent of the law would be for those toilets to be usable simultaneously. I suppose these are but I'm not going to be the one to try it.
We have asked, threatened, offered to install, you name it we tried it except for just eating the cost ourselves and doing it without permission, for stalls in the bathrooms. At one point the response, after asking "Is that really a big deal?" was that he would remove one of the toilets?!
It's decisions like this that lead to things like our listing in Zagat to say things like "despite its location...". Supposedly stalls are on their way. We shall see. At this point we've gone 6.5 years without. Maybe we should insist the bathrooms remain the way they are and make it a marketing gimmick. "WORLD'S WEIRDEST BATHROOM, or something like that.
In case the above doesn't give you the picture, our landlord is an irrational, erratic lunatic. To say our relationship with him has been fractious would be to understate. We have been on the verge of suit at least twice, he's told us he doesn't give a shit about our lease, he's said he's never going to spend another dime in our restaurant and that the reason people come to the building is because of the fine job he did of developing it. He's also said he's very proud of us, that we made his building, that we are his anchor tenant and that he wants us to be happy. He has also spent more money in the restaurant. Fortunately, he doesn't live in town.
The problem in dealing with this kind of person is you have no idea what his response to a given situation is going to be. If he were just an asshole all the time, well you can deal with that.
This is especially a problem because we have 3.5 years left on our lease and unlike a retail business it's a little more difficult to move a restaurant. Thus my Damoclesian existence. All our decisions are informed by this reality. We need a new stove. Well, how much are we willing to spend on a piece of equipment that may have no home in a few years? It would be nice to have doors. Again, is it going to be worth the money?
He has a partner. The partner seems more reasonable although there is truth to the cliche about the company you keep. His partner has assured us that they want us to stay and to extend the lease we just need to tell them and they'll get the papers together. Our history of their broken promises, both verbal and written leaves me wary. I'd like to extend the lease. I don't want to be taken advantage of.
First, let's see the stalls.