Le Gourmet Break (Website | Facebook), a French-inspired patisserie and cafe in downtown Orlando’s Chase Plaza, has closed.
The owners, Aurelie and Alban Malagnoux, moved from France 10 years ago to open the space, which we wrote about HERE. They served a variety of French and American breakfast and lunch items including crepes, sandwiches, quiches, soups, and salads.
The couple took to social media to thank their patrons for their support as well as to point a finger at building management for their decision to close and move on. We spoke with Aurelie Malagnoux, who shared the following statement about the decision to close their business so suddenly and not sell to new operators.
“We’re being forced to close for a few different reasons, but the main reason is that the management company, just doesn’t care about being good landlords. Since 2019 we have been victims of their bad management and we’ve had very serious recurring issues with sewage and sewage backups from the building – something that’s happened about 20 times in the last few years. We had to close for an entire month once just to clean up and we still paid rent on time. They wouldn’t lift a hand to help, but we learned some weeks ago from our attorney that the company is under receivership now and that the building will be foreclosed.
They also managed to block two separate sales with investors who wanted to buy our business; they came up with unreasonable deals to voluntarily make the buyers abandon the purchase. Our broker gave up saying that he would not be able to sell our business against the landlord’s blockages.
We’re here under an E-2 Visa, or an “Investor Visa,” which is very complicated. Since we’re now being forced to close the business, we will have to move back to France at the end of the month.
Working every day with the risk of a sudden flood was extremely stressful and led me to a nervous breakdown. I have received many messages, calls, and emails from our clientele – people who were surprised and shocked by the sudden closing.“– AURELIE MALAGNOUX
An E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows foreign nationals from a treaty country, or a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce or qualifying international agreement, to be admitted to the country when investing a “substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.” Malagnoux shared that that specific visa precluded her and her husband to apply for a Green Card.
Malagnoux and her husband filed a lawsuit against their landlord, Orlando Plaza Retail Center, otherwise known as Chase Plaza, last year hoping to be compensated for the costs accrued to clean and repair the restaurant after every sewage-related incident. However, the couple may be in for a long battle, as Orlando Business Journal has previously reported the entity that runs the plaza to be delinquent on over 12 months of loan payments in 2021.
OBJ also shared that RP Plaza Retail and Theatre LLC, the landlord’s business entity, changed its manager from Stuart Rubin of RP Realty Partners to Richard Pachulski, an LA-based debtor attorney with Pachulski Stang Ziehl and Jones. At the time, the loan for the building was labeled as being at risk for “imminent monetary default.”
A commercial foreclosure case was filed in 2022 against Integrated Fire And Security Solutions Inc, the City of Orlando, The Plaza Land Condominium Association Inc, and RP Plaza Retail And Theatre Llc. Click HERE for more information.
Le Gourmet Break was located at 150 S Magnolia Ave [GMap].
We have a condo at the solaire, up the block and enjoyed many breakfasts at that cafe. We would hope the owners could find another suitable space rather than going back to France.
They’re unable to recoup their losses on the original investment and as such they have to leave the country.
Hopefully the cafe can reopen in O.
Bon chance to the Malagnoux.