The landlord for the Sammy’s Grill locations in Baton Rouge and Prairieville is seeking to evict the popular local restaurant over unpaid rent.
Donnie Jarreau, who bought the Sammy’s Grills at 8635 Highland Road in Baton Rouge and 16400 Airline Highway in Prairieville from owner Sammy Nagem in late May, said he’s optimistic a deal can be worked out. Jarreau and Ryan Jumonville, a Baton Rouge native who lives in Destin, Florida, paid $7.4 million for the restaurants and agreed to lease them back to Nagem.
“Whatever financial issues Sammy is having, we hope we can work through it,” Jarreau said. “But we have to put things in legal notices to protect our interests.”
In an email, Nagem said he had reached an agreement with the landlord to get the rent current.
Suits seeking eviction of Sammy’s were filed in East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes earlier in December, Jarreau said.
According to the suit in East Baton Rouge parish, Nagem owes more than $52,400 in unpaid rent for the Highland Road property. He failed to make rent payments in October and November.
The suit also says Nagem hasn’t furnished certificates of property and general liability insurance on the Highland Road restaurant, which was one of the terms of the rental agreement. Nagem also submitted rent checks that were returned due to insufficient funds, so Jarreau said he must make the payment via certified check.
Nagem approached Jarreau and Jumonville about selling them the restaurants and leasing the properties back. At the time of the sale, Jarreau said Nagem wanted to recapitalize the business and do some things with the restaurants.
There were reports this fall that Sammy’s employees were issued paychecks that were declined due to insufficient funds.
Sammy’s, which is known for its boiled crawfish, po-boys and fried seafood, closed its location in Zachary in June. A location at 14800 Wax Road in Central, which was not sold to Jarreau and Jumonville, has been closed since mid-November because of a burst water pipe.