Lease Restrictions Ineffective to Prevent Pizzeria Expansion

A Mediterranean-style restaurant sought to enjoin its landlord from leasing space to a pizzeria, claiming that doing so violated its lease. The lease provided that the owner would not rent space to another store for use as a substantially same restaurant. The restaurant claimed that when the pizzeria expanded, it became such a competing business, especially because the two eateries shared menu items. The court denied the injunction finding that the lease’s prohibition was not conclusive as the lease prohibited only a Mid-Eastern restaurant, which meaning was vague. Additionally, the court found that the pizzeria’s knowledge of the restriction was not determined, further supporting the denial.

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