Kim Kardashian’s marriage last summer to Kris Humphries famously lasted only 72 days. Their divorce proceeding even more famously is now in its seventh month. A less celebrated but similar fate may befall the short-lived business marriage of two partners in a Long Island restaurant/deli business, who are now embroiled in three lawsuits with one another including a proceeding to dissolve their limited liability company (LLC). Alas, a pair of rulings last month prefigures a divorce that likely will last longer and cost more than the marriage.
The S’s in S&S Eatery, LLC are Elaine Shure and Anthony Spota who in mid-2010 agreed to go into business together as 50/50 co-owners and operators of a new restaurant/deli on Rockaway Avenue in Valley Stream, New York. They decided to situate the restaurant in a vacant unit in a commercial building owned by a trust set up by Ms. Shure’s late husband, of which she was the trustee. In retrospect, the decision at the outset to invest in space indirectly owned and controlled by one of the members may have been the beginning of the end of the business relationship.
Spota and Shure agreed that he would manage the restaurant operations and she would oversee bookkeeping, other administrative responsibilities, and food pickup and delivery. In July 2010, Spota commenced renovation of the space after they agreed to invest equally in the construction expenses. In August 2010 they entered into a 10-year lease between the trust and S&S Eatery, and they also signed an operating agreement providing for management of the LLC by its members. In September 2010 they signed an amendment which included a provision requiring them to devote equal time to the business which opened in January 2011.