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Noosh

Noosh closed Saturday after a short run in the old Taco Bell on Park Street.

Noosh, a much-anticipated Sephardic Jewish restaurant on Park Street, is closed due to a landlord dispute after about a month in business.

Owner Laila Borokhim, who also runs Layla's Persian Cuisine Downtown, is looking for a new spot on Park Street and said she has two potential leads.

"I will reopen, it's just a matter of when, and the where will most likely be on Park Street again. But when, I'm not sure yet," she said, noting she has an offer in on another location and should hear back next week.

Borokhim said the landlords told her the building at 1920 S. Park St., which until recently was a Taco Bell, was in better condition than it was, and became responsible for major repair costs. "I wish I was made of money and I could pour money into other people's buildings, but I can't and I'm not," she said.

The building had electrical issues, a leaky roof, and its water had been turned off. There were also problems with the plumbing and heating, Borokhim said. 

"I went into it knowing that it's an old Taco Bell," she said. "I'm not a moron. I know that it's not going to be in amazing shape."

Her landlords, she said, assured her that everything worked and told her they had been waiting to find the right person. The terms of the lease were "as is," but there was a discrepancy about what "as is" meant, she said.

"The way that I interpreted 'as is' is that it was an old Taco Bell without kitchen equipment and I needed to put kitchen equipment in and make it not look like a Taco Bell so people may want to eat there," Borokhim said. "Their 'as is' was 'if it doesn't work, it's your problem.' I got it open after putting way too much money into things."

Todd Waller, who owns the building with Steve Doran under the name Stampede Capital LLC, said Borokhim didn't pay her rent and started off by submitting her security deposit two months late.

"It was just constant, constant issues," Waller said. "It's unfortunate. I was looking forward to that restaurant."

Waller said he is not sure if they will be taking Borokhim to court, adding that they haven't even finished the eviction process yet.

"It's a bummer. I never really expected that to happen," he said. "Once somebody starts off on the wrong foot it typically is an indicator of what's going to happen in the future, too, unfortunately."

Waller said that of the 50-plus tenants he has, this is the first time he's had to evict anybody, "so it's a little bit new to me."

Borokhim is supposed to be out by the first of the year, he said.

Meanwhile, Borokhim said she is expanding the menu and hours at Layla's, 141 S. Butler St., and opening 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day because she doesn't want to lose any of her employees. 

Noosh closed Friday after serving all day on Christmas and doing a big business. And that was typical of Noosh -- business was "non-stop," Borokhim said. 

"It wasn't the issue of people not coming or the business not being viable, it was more that the building was completely falling apart," she said. 

Read more Restaurant News at: http://go.madison.com/restaurantnews.

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