A Hartford restaurant owner says the relationship between he and his landlord has turned sour, leaving a bad taste his in mouth.
Abner Kurtin owns the NIXS Restaurant and said business was good, until a strange smell chased his customers away.
"In the spring, we noticed a strong odor,” Kurtin said. “Some people have claimed it smells more like garbage, others say it smells like sewer, people use less flattering words to describe the smell."
Kurtin said the excitement of being one of the first restaurants located in the new Front Street development turned sour from a foul odor that was permeating through the restaurant.
“We love the space, we think we are one of the best areas for business people,” Kurtin said. “Our business has suffered, a lot of our regulars have left, we were unable to make rent payments,” Kurtin said, describing overdue rent payments to the tune of $61,000, but Kurtin feels justified in withholding the payments.
"We believe the landlord and us are partners and they've received a lot of money from the state, we wanted to work together to find a solution, we heard no response back from them,” Kurtin said.
Kurtin says he's spent about $10,000 trying to rid the restaurant of the smell.
He's said city and health inspectors have also been in, but could not find the source.
"It doesn't take much for someone to make a decision to go elsewhere, particularly in a new area like Front Street, which doesn't have a lot of foot traffic,” Kurtin said.
He isn’t the only one bothered by the odor. There are reviews posted online that cite the smell as the reason for their poor review.
Kurtin said he is planning to fight eviction and said he hopes he can work with the landlord to save his restaurant.
“We really had expected the support of the landlord in helping to resolve this situation."
Eyewitness News crews smelled the odor while inside the restaurant, and it was just as Kurtin described.
A lawyer representing the landlord, The Nitkin Group, has not return requests for comments.
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