Erewhon, a grocery store-meets-influencer haunt where a jar of in-house pasta sauce can cost upwards of $30, is accused of failing to pay rent at its new Studio City location.
The owner of the Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge is suing Erewhon, alleging the store has failed to pay at least four months of rent and is overusing the parking lot at the retail center, according to a complaint filed earlier this month with L.A. Superior Court.
“Erewhon, with its $25 containers of yogurt and $50 bottles of vinegar, is a lucrative organic grocery store with locations in affluent neighborhoods,” Midwood Investment and Development, which owns the redeveloped Sportsmen’s Lodge property, said in its complaint.
Ever since the grocery store opened its Studio City location in December, it has “wreaked havoc vis-à-vis the landlord ever since,” the firm alleged.
When Midwood announced it would redevelop the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge in 2019 for more than $100 million, Erewhon was named as an anchor tenant. TikTok star Addison Rae was spotted shopping at the store on a recent Saturday, while Jake Gyllenhaal, Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff have all been seen at various Erewhon locations across SoCal.
Famed sushi joint Sugarfish and Brooklyn pizza transplant Roberta’s have opened restaurants at the property. Erewhon signed an agreement to start paying rent in November, about a month before it was set to open its 11,650-square-foot location at 12833 Ventura Boulevard.
Under the 15-year lease, Erewhon agreed to pay $55,350 in rent for the first month for the front-of-house space, plus about $7,900 for a back office — a grand total of about $63,250, according to a copy of the original lease attached to the complaint.
In January, the total monthly rent increased to about $65,200, or about $77 per square foot for the front space and $35 a foot for the back office.
The suit did not detail exactly how much Erewhon allegedly owes in rent, but four months of rent would total about $259,000.
Erewhon put down a security deposit of $63,300 for the space and also scored a $582,500 construction allowance from the landlord.
The grocery chain lets its employees park on the site for free, the complaint said, which it is not entitled to do.
Midwood also claims Erewhon has not installed an electronic cart system to prevent grocery carts from being taken into parking areas or other common areas, breaching the terms of its lease, and has failed to properly store garbage, causing mice, bird and pest infestations at the complex.
Neither Midwood nor Erewhon immediately responded to requests for comment.
Last month, Erewhon opened a store at 339 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. The chain also has locations in Silver Lake, Santa Monica, Calabasas, Venice, Pacific Palisades and Beverly Grove.
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