In the past few weeks, we have had to edit quite a few defamatory remarks posted in the comments section regarding a news article we did on the closing of Matty’s Bar on Wilton Drive in the Manors. The bar had been in litigation with the Alibi in Wilton Plaza. The owners of the Alibi secured a $750,00 judgment against some persons associated with Matty’s. That judgment led to the bar’s demise.
With its ‘Wild Wednesdays’ and 75 cent drinks, Matty’s had become pretty popular. Consequently, a number of commentators discussing the closing took some really vicious hard shots at the Alibi for being ‘ruthless’ and mean. Give me a break. Let’s call a spade a spade.
The owners of the Alibi paid a lot of money for their nightclub. In exchange for purchasing it, they got a written promise from the guys they gave the money to that they would not use that money to go down the block and compete against them.
As Jason Bell, the former owner of Hotspots noted in his own comment, “A non-compete is a standard clause in every business transaction sometimes even including certain employees that leave a business restricting them from gaining employment with a competing business within a defined area the business they left services...all parties agree to the terms and the distance.”
Jason knows of what he speaks, and on more than one occasion, he had to go to court to stop a former employee from quitting on a Monday and going to work for his competitor on a Tuesday. He would win because equity and fairness was on his side. The Alibi and its owners, Jackson Padgett and Mark Negrete, not only had to pay the sellers money for their bar, they then had to go to court for two years and pay attorneys to sue the guys who took their money and then breached their agreement.
They won a judgment and had the right to enforce it. The sellers broke the rules, and they paid the price for it. This is not about the Alibi not being a good neighbor or sharing the wealth. Gay bar or straight employee, it is about honoring agreements and obeying the contracts you sign. The Alibi is one of the more magnanimous and philanthropic gay business entities in Wilton Manors, sponsoring everything from ‘A Taste of the Island’ to gay softball teams, multiple charities, and a lot more to boot.
The duty of this newspaper is to illuminate the lives of the LGBT community with its achievements and promise. But it can’t turn a blind eye to the warts and the wounds, which adversely impact us, whether it is a gay realtor who stole from his clients or it is a gay business that defaults on its obligation to other businesses.
As for Matty’s, it got what it deserved: an eviction notice.