Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another Fran's Update

UPDATE on the UPDATE: Dave at THIRDWAVEDAVE has an awesome round-up of information and links about the Fran O'Brien's mess!

Seems that what the Hilton has been saying about how hard they tried to work out a deal with the owner's of the Fran O'Brien's Restaurant is all a lot of garbage! Here is a bit of an e-mail from Buzz Patterson to Smash at The Indepundit:
"I just had a long chat with Hal Koster. Our worst fears are not only well founded but grossly understated. It's a complete and thorough cluster @#$%. (Sorry, my words not his). I haven't been this pissed about anything in a very long time.

Andi, Kelleher's responses to our questions were blatant lies. Despite what Kelleher says, Hilton has done nothing to support the dinners... never met a bus, never contributed a cent, never negotiated for changes to bring the restaurant into ADA compliance, never advertised the restaurant or the dinners within their own hotel, never provided logistical support... in a word, they've done absolutely zip. In fact, Kelleher hides out in his office and has had no contact with Fran's owners. Hilton Corporate hasn't returned phone calls or e-mails. Hal has never spoken with a rep from Hilton about a future. This O'Boyle guy who is supposedly in charge of Hilton's leases has been MIA for years. Not only unprofessional in my opinion but grossly negligent. Fran's has been profitable every year in spite of the fact that Hilton won't even live up to their responsibilities for facilities management. They've had some plumbing issues... Hal and Marty now call their own plumber. Hilton wanted Fran's to re-upholster the booths and change the carpet, Hal and Marty asked for ADA compliance in return. When negotiations ceased, Hilton doubled their rent last month (doubled!). And then issued an eviction notice two weeks later.

Hal and Marty have retained lawyers and, as mentioned before, have the support of several influential organizations and people..."
And here is Fuzzybear Lioness's (of Fuzzilicous Thinking) impression after visiting Fran's during the Blogger's conference this weekend:
"Fran O'Brien's is an amazing place. I've gone from the theoretical anger and outrage over what's being to done to them and the soldiers they a whole 'nother level of fury at the terribleness of the developing loss.

Talked to Hal Koster--I asked him what the prospects of continuing the restaurant elsewhere were. His face said it all, though he added that they were trying desperately. He also says even if they can find the real estate, renovating a typical building for a restaurant would take 1.5 - 2 million."
This whole situation is just wrong! Unfortunately, Hilton has done this in such a way that there is no recourse for Marty and Hal to be able to stay there. And as mentioned by Fuzzy, it is unlikely they will be able to start at a new place any time soon, if at all! This just stinks all the way around. I may not travel very much, but I can tell you that if and when I do, I will not be staying at a Hilton or Hilton affiliate hotel!

Tags: Fran O'Brien's, Hilton Hotels

No comments: