Food & Drink

New Lawsuit Over Addams Tavern in Westfield Cites Safety Concerns

A new lawsuit over Addams Tavern names the town of Westfield, its building official and Harvest Restaurants Group. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ —  The newest civil complaint filed by landlord Tarta Luna Properties, LLC, regarding 115 Elm St., the building housing Addams Tavern, has been obtained by TAPinto Westfield. Filed on Dec. 20, it names not only the town of Westfield and Harvest Restaurants Group but also Steve Freedman in his capacity as construction official for the town.

To read the entire complaint, click here.pdf

A complaint filed in August named only Harvest Restaurants Group.

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The new complaint claims that Freedman refused to meet with Tarta Luna or their professionals except for a brief meeting in September.

Among the claims made in the complaint is improper use of the neighboring building’s wall, which it says was used to support construction of 115 Elm St.’s wall without permission. It also says that the new wall was made from a different material than had been agreed upon.

“Plaintiffs retained counsel in early 2016 in order to communicate their concerns to Westfield officials, including Freedman. Neither Westfield officials, nor the Town Attorney, nor Freedman, responded to these requests or concerns,” the complaint says.

In May, it says, when Freedman did issue a stop construction order after receiving another objection, in writing, he rescinded it soon after stating that construction had been completed in accordance with approved plans, the complaint says.  

According to the complaint, all available evidence indicates that the new construction at 115 Elm Street remains improperly attached to the 125 Elm Street wall, creating an unsafe condition, rendering the premises unfit for occupancy and directly impinging on the rights of 125 Elm St., LLC.

“Separate and apart from the issues relating to the improper use of terra cotta wall between 115 Elm Street and 125 Elm Street, the construction of the 115 Elm Project raises numerous other issues of compliance with the applicable rules and regulations, and as to public health, safety and welfare,” the complaint states.

It also says that the building does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and that there was an absence of investigation or analysis of the foundation.

In September, 115 Elm St. passed building inspections, as well as an inspection by the health department. Despite the litigation, the restaurant was granted permission to open in November by a judge.

At a town council meeting Tuesday night, Councilman Sam Della Fera called the litigation “unfortunate, because I think Addams Tavern has been wildly successful.”  He said the town will vigorously defend itself in the matter.

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