Wholesaler suing restaurateur over non-payment
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A food wholesaler is suing the owner of a Winnipeg restaurant that became a gathering place for COVID-deniers during the pandemic before it closed.
Pratts Ltd. and Pratts Wholesale Food Service Ltd. allege Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant and its owner, Paulina Jojnowicz, owe $11,056.38 plus interest, stemming from a 2018 contract. A statement of claim was filed in the Court of King’s Bench on Jan. 23.
On or about Dec. 6, 2018, the wholesaler entered an agreement to supply produce, meat and dairy, among other grocery and wholesale products, on an ongoing basis, the claim says.
The restaurant agreed to pay within 14 days of receiving goods. Jojnowicz agreed to unconditionally personally guarantee the payments, according to the claim, and agree to an interest rate of 12 per cent per year on past due accounts.
“Tuxedo Village placed numerous purchase orders… particularly in July and August 2022,” the claim reads.
“The (wholesaler) delivered the product to Tuxedo Village and Tuxedo Village accepted the product.”
The lawsuit alleges the wholesaler has demanded payment but none has been given.
The restaurant owner has not filed a statement of defence and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant is listed online as permanently closed, and last summer was put up for sale.
The eatery shared a space, at 2090 Corydon Ave., with Monstrosity Burger, which is also owned by Jojnowicz. Monstrosity is also closed.
“We tried to fight for the freedom of Canadians but just didn’t have the support needed to stay open. We will reopen, but not in communist Canada,” says a message on the site .
The restaurants made headlines during the pandemic for disobeying provincial public health rules, including masking and vaccination mandates.
The company faced fines of up to $1 million for repeated alleged breaches of public health orders from Nov. 24 to 26, 2021.
The province would not comment when asked if the business has paid its fines.
“The province does not track individual tickets or fines,” a government spokesperson said in an email Wednesday.
“There is a detailed process for collection of fines, and penalties or consequences for failing to pay, just as there is for any other fine or judgment.”
The province has collected $925,927 of the $9.4 million owed in COVID-19 fines, despite former premier Brian Pallister promising the government would make rule-breakers pay.
In Manitoba, 3,709 tickets worth $9,456,558 in fines have been issued for violations of provincial and federal pandemic restrictions.
Provincial government data show that as of Jan. 2, $925,927 had been collected for tickets issued under the Provincial Offences Act for provincial statute offences, federal contraventions and municipal bylaw offences.
— with files from Carol Sanders
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.