Oak Creek — The city is scheduled to get its second Dunkin Donuts, much to the chagrin of the business currently located at 8750 S. Howell Ave., where the restaurant is slated to move.
Jeff Fluegel, owner of Aqua Salon and Spa, said he first learned about the Dunkin Donuts in November, when an application was filed for a conditional-use permit for the restaurant that would include a drive-thru window. The Common Council approved the permit Feb. 17.
The restaurant will be operated by Milwaukee Coffee Brewing Co., a partnership that has 11 Dunkin Donuts franchises in southeastern Wisconsin. There is a Dunkin Donuts now at 2345 W. Ryan Road.
Fluegel said his business opened in July, 2010, with a five-year lease that had renewal options after one and three years.
He said he neglected to give written notice of his intention to renew last year, which he called a "loophole" that allowed his spa to be ousted by the building owner, Pranke Holdings, LLC.
Neither Michael Pranke, owner of Pranke Holdings LLC, or Lorrie Jesmok, property manager, responded to a request for an interview. Fluegel said he worked exclusively with Jesmok during his four years as a tenant.
Fluegel said he was informed in September that his business now had a month-to-month lease.
"It's not illegal," Fluegel said of the move, "but we went to three different lawyers who said they've never seen anything like this with a tenant that's a successful business that never missed a payment."
He said lawyers "said we never should have signed this (lease) in the first place," and added that Aqua Salon has invested $100,000 in the property.
Jerry Mortier, manager of design services for The Redmond Co. of Waukesha, was applicant for the permit. Mortier said he could not speak for the building owner.
Fluegel said he has had difficulty finding financing for a new location, but stressed that "I don't want anybody to think it's over. We're doing our best to stay in Oak Creek."
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