East-side TJ’s Burger House closes over a dispute, landlord opens Burger House

WICHITA — TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem is out of his east-side restaurant, but he says it’s not by choice.

Abdayem still has his Delano location, but he’s distancing himself from the former TJ’s at Harry and Webb with a sign at his Delano restaurant and through a Facebook post saying his landlord has inappropriately taken over the east-side space, which is now known as the Burger House.

Abdayem says he was interested in possibly closing his restaurant so a friend could open a combination hamburger and hookah business there, “which made the landlord very angry.”

Landlord Homer Morgan didn’t return a call for comment, but an employee of his says it was Abdayem who closed the business.

“The intention was not to even close until the end of June or even July,” Abdayem says. He says Morgan “went behind my back and told the employees of the plan on Wednesday.”

“He told them I was going to shut it down that weekend.”

Abdayem, who says he’s considering his options for getting the space back, says he can’t get back on the premises to collect his belongings. He’s also concerned his customers will continue going to the restaurant and not have the same experience as when he ran it.

“I want people to know that (my business) is no way affiliated with the east side.”