JUST IN: Dispute over Dayton nightclub’s lease triggers lawsuit

A leasing dispute has triggered a lawsuit and has put plans for Evolution 804 Nightclub just east of downtown Dayton on hold.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday, Wednesday July 5, in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court by Evolution 804 nightclub against the corporate entity that owns and operates The 804 Building at 804 E. Monument Ave.

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Grant Dixon and the corporate entity Great Bar Inc. had applied for a liquor license for the space and says he signed a lease for a 4,500-square-foot portion of The 804 Building, where he planned to open “a restaurant and bar under the business name of Evolution 804 Nightclub,” according to the lawsuit. But the building’s owners, Westward Success LLC, “repeatedly have harassed and interfered” with Dixon’s preparation of the site, the lawsuit says.

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Dixon accuses the building’s owners of installing sheet metal on the walls against his wishes, interfering with work being done on the flooring, paying workers who had been hired by Dixon to cease work on the space, refusing to remove a “For Lease” sign and seeking to unilaterally reduce the amount of space available to Dixon “in contradiction of the lease agreement,” the lawsuit says.

Dixon and his company have suffered economic and non-economic damages in excess of $58,000, the lawsuit alleges, and are seeking monetary damages in excess of $25,000 as well as attorney fees.

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The plans got off to a rocky start. When Dixon, after applying for a liquor license for the space, told this news outlet on May 12 about his plans for a new alternative/gay-friendly destination, Jeff Mohlman, co-owner of The 804 Building, called Dixon’s comments “premature and inaccurate.”

This afternoon, Mohlman said he and the other owners of the 804 Building were not surprised at the filing of the lawsuit. He said there were “many inconsistencies” with Dixon’s approach and plans for a business in the Tech Town area, where the city has made considerable investments in development.

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“We will continue to build on the hard work and great foundation laid by the leadership of the city of Dayton,” Mohlman said.

Dixon had planned to open the nightclub by September, and launch a restaurant inside the nightclub early next year, he said in May. The 1980 graduate of Xenia High School worked in and managed nightclubs in Kettering, Dayton and Huber Heights several years ago, and also operates a senior home-care service.

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