GLHF Game Bar and Chicago Pizza must vacate their premises at the Jacksonville Landing by March 14. The gaming bar was given five days to do so and is scrambling to move inventory in time, according to multiple sources and co-owner Taya Comastro.
After news broke on Feb. 20 that Sleiman Enterprises had agreed with the City of Jacksonville to terminate its lease on the property and demolish the structure, the future went up in the air for the tenants that remained at the doomed Jacksonville Landing.
While a $1.5 million stipulation was made for tenant lease termination and relocation in the deal, the GLHF Game Bar and Chicago Pizza owners previously told the Business Journal they had not been contacted about relocation funds.
"It’s unfortunate, but there is nothing we can do about it other than continuing to focus on a new location," Comastro said. "I’ve been hearing rumors [of closures] from a few other stores, but as far as I can tell, they are still fully operational."
Comastro said that Sleiman had asked the bar to either "pay a fee or leave. We are choosing to leave since we have no idea how much longer the landing will even last before being torn down. We can’t stop the inevitable."
The fee, she said, "was about four times" what the bar would have made staying at the Landing.
Games Arts and Music (GAAM) founder and president Ryan Thompson posted a call for help on Facebook Wednesday morning – and a caveat that the gaming community should respect the Comastros' wishes in regards to the situation.
"If anybody is available this afternoon, please be ready to head on over to GLHF and help," he wrote. "Hopefully this moves faster than anticipated once details are finalized. This is what we do for family. With family, we don't need to ask questions, we don't need to know why we just need to be there and help however we can."
According to a customer post on Facebook, owners Cliff and Comastro were already packing up the place on Tuesday night, but still made time to serve dinner.
Other remaining tenants at the Jacksonville Landing appear to still be in operation. Sleiman Enterprises was not immediately available for comment.
The GLHF Game Bar and Chicago Pizza was the site of a mass shooting which left three people dead - two victims and the shooter - and injured 11 during a Madden Football video game tournament last year.