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The Grind's Landlord Said He's as Surpised as Any to Its Closing

Jeremy Sladovnik denies the allegations that he raised the rent and forced the popular coffee shop to close.

Jeremy Sladovnik owns Joe's Hamburgers in Wyandotte. Photo credit: Patch
Jeremy Sladovnik owns Joe's Hamburgers in Wyandotte. Photo credit: Patch

A Wyandotte business owner, who initially declined to talk on-the-record with Patch, is now explaining his side of a story that has catapulted out of control over the last 48 hours. 

When news circulated that owner of The Grind coffee shop, Rose Henry, said she was forced to close her business after the new landlord raised the rent on the building, Jeremy Sladovnik said he was taken aback.

Sladovnik, who is the new landlord, stands firm that “at no point did I ever raise the rent.”

City Assessor Tom Woodruff, who saw the contract with the former landlord, David Lonier of WS LLC, agreed.

“I saw the contract with the former owners and he continued with the contract at the same rate of $2,300, ” said Woodruff, who praised Henry’s shop.

“I’m going to miss the coffee shop. It was good coffee, and it’s better than going to the national brands. It was a nice place for people to gather, and (Sladovnik) would be foolish to try to force her out. You want to keep your tenants happy."

Although Henry argues that the $2,300 rent amount is incorrect, citing an agreement she had with Lonier, who also said her rent was $1,500 per month.

“The rent was $1,500, plus $800 to make up for the back rent. But (Sladovnik) doesn’t get the back rent,” Lonier said. 

According to The News-Herald, which obtained a copy of the lease agreement, “Henry is to pay an additional $800 per month to settle $11,624 in rent past due,” the paper said, citing an attachment to the lease, known as a rider, which is annexed to a document in order to modify it. 

“The balance on the lease went to the new owner, which was $1,500,” Lonier said. “That’s what we were asking. That would be fair. You’d think they would use the terms of that lease. After all, they’re locked into it."

But Sladovnik, a prominent business owner in Wyandotte, who purchased the building in late December, said the previous rental agreement was for $2,300. If she was paying $1,500 for rent and then an additional $800 in back rent per month, that equates to $2,300, he said. 

Sladovnik said he originally speculated that Henry was retiring due to the unannounced closure of her coffee house.

“(Henry) left in the middle of the night. She didn’t give any claims as to what her intentions were, she just up and spilt,” Sladovnik, who also owns Joe’s Hamburgers in Wyandotte, said.

“The lease said $2,300, which is what I asked for,” he said.

Sladovnik said he purchased the building, which includes The Grind (3037 Biddle), as well as the adjacent spot (3041 Biddle), formally the It All Makes Scents store.

Sladovnik said he plans on moving his restaurant into the vacant spot, and that he had “absolutely no intention of taking over The Grind’s location.”

“This entire ordeal has affected me professionally and personally,” he said. 

“I had no intention of messing around with Rose’s business. I’m dedicated to the town and Joe’s Hamburgers. I don’t understand why she left in the middle of the night. There are a bunch of unanswered questions, but it is what it is.”

Many residents expressed anger toward Sladovnik on social media after the closure of the coffee shop went viral. Some even suggested boycotting Joe’s Hamburgers.  

“This is my livelihood,” he said. “I have a family to feed, and I love this city, but it has really taken a toll on me.”

“I’ve not only lost a business partner, I’ve lost a friend,” Sladovnik said. 


andrew.thurlow@patch.com 

Karen R January 16, 2014 at 12:21 AM
all of this...An example of The Butterfly Effect incarnate
spartanguy January 16, 2014 at 08:18 AM
if any of you people fighting for Rose own a building downtown please share, because you obviously have no problem with your tenant owing you $12,000. do you really think she ws making that money up with $2 cups of coffee? This is all just business and math. As far as selling the business. there is no BUSINESS to sell. just equipment to liquidate. Who's gonna drop $100,000 on a business that can't support itself? All of this hate is only hurting you're own soul. ....“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” ~ Buddha
Rhonda 'Roni' Gutierrez January 16, 2014 at 08:25 AM
You know....I hear so many Americans complain about the Arab community and/or Hispanic community taking over so many businesses; however, they always stick together. One person helps anothe person who helps another person. Before you know it, they all have successful businesses. That's the problem here. We all need to stick together. We are part of a community. It is our responsibility to help one another out. I'm sure the opening of Tongue's coffee shop didn't help the situation either but to each his own. The Grind was a wonderful place to go and have coffee time with friends. Rose was always welcoming and kind. She would run around the counter to give a hug. That is something we will all miss....
Jerry Barton January 16, 2014 at 08:49 AM
I'm guessing Jeremy declined to comment initially because he felt it was nobody's business. The Grind owner should've put some big girl panties on, went to Jeremy and had a conversation about the rent instead of throwing a tantrum and closing up in the middle of the night. And Judy is absolutely correct that we don't know the full details of Jeremy's purchase of the property. He may have been fully entitled to the $800/mth extra. My guess is that the people yelling boycott probably have never stepped foot in Joe's Hamburgers, so no great loss. I'll keep patronizing your business, Jeremy. Get the poutine and sliders ready.
Maryellen January 16, 2014 at 09:56 AM
The bottom line is, in the past few years Wyandotte has lost all kinds of charming businesses, from the Victorian Tea Room to The Grind. We will miss Rose and each of us will treasure fondly our own happy memories over a cup of her coffee. [I hate the phrase, "It's just business." To me, all business is personal. Commerce depends on people, and we should never forget that. The closing of The Grind has proved that even spreadsheets and leases can have an emotional impact.]
darrin barnes January 16, 2014 at 10:22 AM
She had the business for sale, there was a for sale sign in the window.
darrin barnes January 16, 2014 at 10:26 AM
For me and my husband there is nothing else for us to go to third Friday for we loved Sue at It all makes sense, was a cute little gift store reasonably priced and kind employees, not sure if this is why she left as well, but it's sad on many levels, where has everyone gone? The only time it was busy down on third Friday was when alcohol was involved. Shop local shop small business.
Marc LaDuke January 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM
I agree when you get into the legal aspect of business after a lot of assumption and rumors you are often surprised at what you find. That's life, That's business. Now that we have a small clue as to what is really going on we are all still speculators in the matter. I say the best of luck to both owners and that we support any business that provides a great product, good prices, and friendly service. Wyandotte and its' residents will endure.
Richard Miller January 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM
We need to support ALL our Wyandotte Businesses. We are losing more businesses than we are gaining. None of this is good for our City.
Mike Stevenson January 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM
OK everybody out of the water and back on sound ground The facts are there and everybody is just swimming around them, I for one love Joes burgers and fries, not a person to sit around sipping a cup of Joe while the utilities and rent have to be paid and paid on time every month every year. I'am in business and if i don't make a payment than I close and move in with my X MCBIDDLE
KATHY SLACK January 16, 2014 at 01:14 PM
All of our Wyandotte businesses need support, buy local!
Redwing14 January 16, 2014 at 02:05 PM
I will not support any business/landlord that forces people out just for his personal gain. If Jeremy was looking to move his business to Biddle Ave there are other vacant business buildings available. I just can't see many people sitting on Friday or Saturday night eating a Greasy smelly hamburger and watching the summer sunset.
Dustin Butz January 16, 2014 at 03:24 PM
You people are ridiculous. She owed 12,000 dollars on back rent! Sounds like the business was failing anyways. It's not like the new landlord walked in the door and demanded the rent or she was out of there. She chose to shut down one night and never to reopen. You would think the grind would have a going away "event" to thank all of the loyal customers of nearly 20 years? Maybe wait til tomorrow's third Friday to liquidate and sell as much coffee as possible and make some last minute cash on the busiest night of the month? It only makes sense to me apparently. Unless the Grind ran out of product to sell, and in that case it sounds like someone was going to walk away and take the cowards way out. All you "loyal Grind supporters" on here could of donated money to help pay for a portion of the back rent. The owner could of started a crowd-funded campaign (if you don't know what this is, google it.) to help raise money if she wanted to. But closing your doors without taking an effort to save your buisness at all just makes me think that she never had an intention to pay this back rent and remain open. As far as selling the business, who in their right mind would pay the ridiculous amount she was asking? I don't know but it just seems like someone is trying to protect their image. Stop all this dumb gossip, this is none of our business to begin with. This is the real world and yes, business do close their doors ever day. But to boycott and name bash someone who owns a small Wyandotte business is just ignorant. There is another coffee shop right across the street if you want to support another Wyandotte business. Best of luck to both parties.
Redwing14 January 16, 2014 at 03:46 PM
Dustin : would you pay 2300-2600 a month for a small building that size? I will continue to support Angelina's , Franks, Jimmy Johns, Axe and Ladder, Strohs , Sanders and RP Mcmurphy's...........just not Joe's.
USMC1775 January 16, 2014 at 05:52 PM
It's all unfortunate, I still miss Good Eats. Grab breakfast then walk next door for a cup if coffee and start the day
Rob S January 16, 2014 at 06:16 PM
I have owned a coffee house before and would own one again. Business is not easy lots of competition from the big dogs. If rent and deal was right....I would open it right back up. Someone call me 734.624.5556
Tonya January 16, 2014 at 07:34 PM
There is always 3 sides to every story. No one but the parties involved know all of the facts. The rest is just irresponsible speculation. I am an employee of a family owned buissness. Because of that I have to say that if you are talking about boycotting his buisness your hurting the staff way before you hurt him. The employees who work day to day are the ones that you are hurting first and formost. Its not fair to them and they had nothing to do with any of it. I have been threw this at my work and I was the one who suffered! Please think of them before you trash talk the buisness. tnyfry
David Skarzynski January 17, 2014 at 12:07 AM
Yeah lets boycott a business. That's real smart. That doesn't help the community by saying that. If you don't want to go to Joe's then that's fine, but why? What's your reason to boycott. Nobody knows the real facts so grow up with all of this pointing fingers crap. It's stupid. The situation is over with. There's nothing you can do to bring the grind back unless you want to write a check for 12 grand. All I am saying is that the pointing fingers, the boycotting, saying Jeremy is a bad person, or he's a good person, or rose is right or whatever else there may be doesn't help the situation. This is Wyandotte. A small downriver community that has always stuck together. And you people are going to rip it apart because you think you know all the facts, well you don't. Nobody but workers and owners of the grind and Joe's Hamburgers do. So stop with the little five year old games. How old are you people? Grow up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Donald Icenogle January 17, 2014 at 12:11 AM
I agree with David,Tonya and Richard Miller!
Redwing14 January 17, 2014 at 12:51 AM
David ,Well you may think its not anyones business but I will spend my money where I choose,and if I want to boycott a business .....its my choice. Obviously this must be bothering Jeremy he even states in the article that it us taking a toll on him The point is you forced a 20+ year business out and it wasn't a business that competes against your business that to me is nothing more than greed.
Maryellen January 17, 2014 at 01:14 AM
"This is Wyandotte. A small downriver community that has always stuck together. And you people are going to rip it apart..." Excuse me, but the only people ripping anything apart are the bullies who can't respect other people's right to have an opposing opinion. We get it. You have interpreted the situation -- on which you admit no one has the complete story/facts -- and have declared that anyone in Wyandotte who doesn't agree with you is childish and stupid. Glad we cleared that up, Emperor David.
Tina Milewski January 17, 2014 at 01:25 AM
Floor made of pennys
truther January 17, 2014 at 07:16 AM
The way some people sound on here you have to go to Joe's to support Wyandotte. They seem pretty sensitive about it. I've never been there. I doubt I ever will.
Anonymous January 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM
This whole situation reminds me of what happened on Patch/Facebook when it was announced that Mt. Carmel and St. Stan's parishes were merging and St. Stan's building would be closed. People in this city get so nasty and vindictive!
Richard Miller January 17, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Patch.....you need to quit sending updates on every comment via email. This has been talked to death. We love Rose and We love Jeremy. The very best wishes to both of them, they are good people, and good Wyandotters!
Andrew Thurlow (Editor) January 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Richard, each account controls its own updates. Click on your name in the top right corner and select email settings.
Redwing14 January 17, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Richard if you don't want to read it then don't.
Richard Miller January 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM
Redwing, I was not aware that I could control reading you. Just changed it. I hate reading those who spew hateful comments behind pseudonyms. Pointless!
Donald Icenogle January 18, 2014 at 12:08 AM
I have really enjoyed all these comments. Thank's for the laughs!
David Saul Greene January 26, 2014 at 11:15 AM
new landlord is wrong - this item should have been dealt with closing. That additional rent is due the former landlord not the new landlord...rent should be $1500... The new purchaser should have gotten a signed estopple at closing that the tenant would sign confirming what the rent is! What does the estopple say

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