Tyler Red Lobster landlord says restaurant is refusing to pay rent despite reopening, owes $84k in late payments

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – For many retirees in Texas, owning property is an easier option than to work late in life.

89-year-old Lynn Spencer does just that. She owns the property that Red Lobster in Tyler uses on Loop 323 and has for some time.

“I love the food, it is so good, I have never had a problem with the company,” said Spencer.

That was until COVID-19 shut down the country and the restaurant reportedly began stopping monthly paychecks and even months later the company still hasn’t made a single payment according to Spencer.

When KETK News went by on Tuesday the restaurant was open and taking orders and seating people inside, so the question Spencer has is, “Why can’t they pay me anything?”

Lynn said in an interview that Red Lobster had sent out a letter when the coronavirus shut down the restaurant and that she negotitated back and forth with the company about the price ofthe monthly payment.

The two finally agreed to an initial 40% payment and that each month the payments would gradually increase back to normal. But at the last minute, Lynn says that Red Lobster backed out of the deal.

Photo of Spencer family on cruise

Lynn’s husband Michael is in long-term memory care and the Spencers rely on the rental income to pay medical and all other living expenses.

“We’ve had to dig into our reserve accounts and our life savings to make up for the lack of payment by the restaurant,” said Spencer.

KETK News reached out to Golden Gate Capital, the parent company of Red Lobster, but they have yet to respond.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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