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Restaurant Lawsuit Brewing In Teays Valley

Reported: Apr. 8, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
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TEAYS VALLEY, W.Va. (Chris Williams) -- There are several different stores in Liberty Square. The outlet mall gives people in Putnam County a place to shop that’s close to home.

"At least once a week, all the little stores around here, try to support everybody," said Carla Tyree when talking about shopping at the outlet mall.

But a lot of people would like to see more restaurants in the mall, so four-s development, which owns liberty square, is trying to bring in Panera, but neighborhood hospitality, which owns Applebee’s, says their original contract with four-s prohibits similar restaurants from opening up there.

"I went to Panera and it was sandwiches, bread, and soup. I didn't see it was like Applebee’s at all," said James Jefferson.

The agreement, signed in the 90s, defines a similar company as any business that serves food and alcohol. Panera does not serve alcohol. One woman, who didn't want to be on camera, says the lawsuit is only hurting the area.

"I think it's ridiculous. We need the economy, and we need the jobs in our area," said Hurricane Resident Tammy Wheeler.

The lawsuit was filed back in January, but a court date still hasn't been set. People who shop at the mall hope the case is settled soon.

"I think it's a little selfish on their part because a restaurant is a restaurant. Who has the right to tell who to come where."



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