UPDATED — It’s been more than nine months since TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem has been gone from his east-side TJ’s, but customers are still confused about his role there, especially now that the restaurant has closed.
Abdayem wants to be clear about a couple of things. Most importantly, he says, his Delano TJ’s remains open.
The former TJ’s that was on the east side at Harry and Webb recently closed, but it’s been since May that Abdayem was there. The circumstances surrounding his departure are in dispute.
Abdayem says he hadn’t planned on leaving but that his landlord, Homer Morgan, unexpectedly locked him out. Morgan’s attorney, Ed Robinson, says Abdayem broke his lease and left owing Morgan about $32,000.
“What actually happened is entirely different than what he’s describing,” Robinson says.
He says Morgan sued Abdayem in Sedgwick County District Court, and Abdayem has brought a counterclaim.
Abdayem says that until a week ago when it closed, the restaurant continued to operate as Burger House, which he says led some people to think he was still there.
Regardless of the legal situation and its outcome, Abdayem says he continues to get questions from customers and wants everyone to understand the situation and that it’s not related to his Delano restaurant.