Palm Beach Residents Rally to Save Taboo Restaurant from Closure.

Palm Beach Residents Rally to Save Taboo Restaurant from Closure.

When the leaseholders fight for summary judgment against the owners next month, they could be kicked out of the famous restaurant Taboo.

One of Palm Beach’s most well-known and long-lasting places is Taboo, which opened in 1941.

Bobby Routhier has worked at the bar for 26 years and has served famous people like Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and Sylvester Stallone.

“I’m heartbroken. Routhier said, “This place is an icon; it’s been here for a long time.” “It was one of the first places to open on Worth Avenue in 1973 and stay open all summer.”

And now, after more than 30 years in charge, the boss Franklyn DeMarco is being kicked out.

“Well, I can say it’s been there for 80 years. It is a constant, a symbol. And everyone on the town council and in our shop who has eaten here has told me directly that they support Taboo but can’t do anything about it legally,” said DeMarco.

Mark Hunt, a developer from Colorado, bought the building in 2021 and rented out part of it to 219 Worth Avenue Holdings. A spokesperson for 219 Worth Avenue Holdings said that DeMarco stopped paying rent last year.

“The landlord is happy to have signed a lease with a new tenant, who plans to bring a new dining experience and an exciting restaurant concept that fits with its Worth Avenue address,” the representative said.

DeMarco says that when his lease ended in April 2022, he tried to get a long-term lease, but the new owners wouldn’t sign anything in writing.

“There was silence, both for me and for our lawyers,” DeMarco said.

So, he said he stopped paying rent and put it in an escrow account, but he was willing to pay up and pay for a $5 million makeover if he could just get the lease renewed and keep his customers happy.

Mark Locks, who lives in Palm Beach, said, “It’s really a part of Palm Beach.” “When I had COVID, Franklyn sent me food three times a day, and this place is a very important part of Palm Beach.

The leaseholders say that DeMarco owes more than $500,000 in back rent, so they have filed for summary judgment to remove him.

DeMarco says that thousands of customers have signed pleas to keep Taboo open, but he is starting to realize that it may not be possible.

He just hopes that Worth Avenue won’t lose its only sidewalk restaurant because the leaseholder wants to put in a watch shop, as he has heard.

“Even though I won’t be living on the street, I don’t want anything bad to happen to it. DeMarco said, “My heart is still in it. I’ve been here for about 30 years.”

He said that people have asked him to move Taboo to different parts of the island.

The meeting for eviction is on May 24.

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