Mall owner seeks back rent from Mexican restaurant

KINGSPORT — The owner of the Fort Henry Mall is suing one of its tenants — Toro Mexican Grill — claiming the restaurant, based in White Pines, Tenn., has not paid any rent since April.

A complaint was filed against Toro Mexican Grill in Sullivan County Chancery Court on Oct. 6. It states Toro owes just over $32,000 for lease payments and real property taxes.

Toro Mexican Grill opened its fourth restaurant in the old Garfield’s location last summer. Toro is owned by Jose Bravo, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 15 years. Bravo has El Toro restaurants in Morristown, White Pines and Dandridge in addition to the one in Kingsport.

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Toro’s lease went into effect in March of 2016 and the restaurant is supposed to make monthly rent payments of $4,583 through June of 2020. After that, the rent would go up to $5,416 through the end of the lease in June 2023.

Toro’s last payment to the mall’s owners was on April 1 of this year, and as of October 1, the restaurant owes just over $32,000, court records state.

The owners of the mall are seeking to repossess the restaurant space Toro is leasing and are asking the court to enter a judgment against Toro for the back rent.

The Times-News reached out to Bravo for comment but received no response.

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