Property proprietor says Petaluma Cattlemens ‘began shorting us’ on lease, however restaurant refutes claims

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An utility to redevelop a parcel in northern Petaluma has forged doubt on the way forward for the beloved Cattlemens steakhouse that’s been a neighborhood establishment for greater than 50 years, however may very well be changed by a Chick-fil-A.

The property’s proprietor says the restaurant chain is behind in its lease funds, has let its lease expire and has no real interest in staying in Petaluma.

Talking with the Argus-Courier Tuesday, Anthony Ferolito mentioned relations between the Cattlemens chain and his household – which has owned the 3-acre parcel on the 5000 block of Petaluma Boulevard North for generations – grew to become strained in the course of the pandemic shutdown, when eating places in every single place needed to shut their doorways.

That’s when Cattlemens, he mentioned, started failing to pay their full rental cost.

“Cattlemens began shorting us,” he mentioned, claiming the corporate nonetheless owes his household tens of 1000’s in again funds.

Ferolito additionally mentioned the restaurant chain allowed its lease to run out in December 2021 and has been on a month-to-month lease ever since.

He mentioned he suspects it was “their plan from the start” to let go of the positioning because the restaurateur consolidates its Santa Rosa and Petaluma retailers right into a single location in Rohnert Park.

Cattlemens consultant Miranda Smith refuted Ferolito’s claims, telling the Argus-Courier, “As arduous because it was in the course of the pandemic, we made all funds per our lease agreements. The pandemic has not impacted our capacity to pay any of our companions at any of our areas. If there’s a dispute on the lease calculations, we’re desperate to work to resolve it.”

Smith added that, relating to the restaurant’s future plans, “Cattlemens did put in a proposal to buy the property as our need has all the time been to remain and function in Petaluma and nonetheless is.”

That assertion echoed one given beforehand by Smith: “We haven’t any plans to shut and look ahead to persevering with to serve the Petaluma neighborhood as we’ve for the final 52 years.”

The claims got here to mild following the submitting of a venture proposal for the parcel at 5002 North Petaluma Boulevard by Dynamic Actual Property Companions, a Los Angeles-based developer.

As a possible purchaser of the property, Dynamic Actual Property Companions submitted plans to town of Petaluma on Oct. 10 that will tear down the Cattlemens constructing and substitute it with a Chick-fil-A restaurant, amongst different adjustments.

In keeping with the developer’s proposal submitted final month, “The present 9,040-square-foot restaurant constructing is being eliminated and changed with a brand new 5,000-square-foot restaurant constructing with exterior patios situated on the northwest and southeast corners of the constructing.”

Different proposed adjustments embody a brand new 4,500-square-foot retail area alongside the 2 preexisting, western-style retail buildings on the positioning, which home Jay Palm’s Saddle Store, North Bay Grain and Pleasures Limitless Too. The 2 preexisting retail constructions could be left in place however with exterior enhancements made.

Metropolis planning supervisor Andrew Trippel mentioned the venture proposal would require evaluation by town’s Planning Fee, which may take as much as six months after metropolis planners deem the venture utility full. They now have 30 days from the Oct. 10 submittal to make that willpower, after which the venture evaluation course of can start, Trippel mentioned.

“At the moment, no metropolis laws or insurance policies would prohibit the property proprietor or its agent from proposing improvement on this property,” Trippel mentioned.

First, nonetheless, a sale would wish to undergo. Ferolito mentioned he and his household determined to place the property up on the market “a pair years in the past,” itemizing it for $7 million.

Ferolito – who was born and raised in Petaluma however now lives in Florida – mentioned he’s 50% proprietor of the parcel, and that a number of relations collectively personal the opposite 50%.

He mentioned each Cattlemens and Dynamic Actual Property Companions put in presents on the property. The household finally entered right into a $6.3 million negotiation with the developer, however that deal has not but been accomplished.

Ferolito mentioned he was very younger when his grandparents constructed the constructing that in 1969 would develop into a Cattlemens – one of many first to open.

“My grandfather is the one who went out and bought all these wagon wheels that they was chandeliers,” he mentioned, recalling boyhood recollections.

“Our household has owned that property since earlier than the Freeway 101 went in,” he added.

Ferolito mentioned Dynamic Actual Property Companions has already invested “fairly a bit of cash” within the buy, however that it may take a number of extra months to find out whether or not the acquisition will undergo.

For now, Cattlemens in Petaluma stays open every day from 4-10 p.m.

Petaluma Argus-Courier reporter Amelia Parreira contributed to this report.

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