Help Me Hank: Dining Disaster
Having his own restaurant was always chef Roger Williamson's dream.
"My life savings went into this place."
Roger Williamson, Rinaldi's Restaurant
Opening here in Marblehead, he hoped the buzz would be about his lobster and pasta special. But as it turns out that buzz wasn't just about the food. The dining room itself was making some noise... literally.
These aren't trick camera shots or special effects, the salad bar is shaking, the wine on the table is shaking, the restaurant is shaking and no matter how perfect the pasta, no one wants to have it end up in their lap. It seems funny but it's wasn't.
"We've estimated we've lost probably six to seven thousand dollars since this has happened."
Customers came -- they quaked -- they left.
"They said well everything is great, the food is great, service is great but what's the deal with the shaking?"
So what was the deal? Roger followed the noise. The bad vibrations led him to what looked like a broken piece of machinery in the store downstairs.
But when he questioned the storeís owner...
"...I basically got lip service. They werenít going to do anything."
Since Roger was a renter, he hoped the landlord would step in, but he says he didn't get good vibes from him either.
"...Pretty much thought I was out on a tree limb by myself and I wasn't going to get any help."
The noise got worse, the shaking got worse, roger says his business got much worse.
"...I said well let me see if I can call Hank Phillippi Ryan and see if thereís anything she can do."
Question is do renters of a rattling restaurant have a right to quiet?
"Can they do that?"
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Investigative Reporter
This attorney's opinion: the law's on Rogerís side.
"If the landlord won't do it, if the next door neighbor wonít shut down the noise, then maybe you need to bring legal action, but in the end you should win."
Richard Brooks, Atty., Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks
So we made a little noise of our on, calling the other tenant and the landlord and eventually -- silence.
Now there's no more rumbling and rattling restaurant, you can actually hear the plates clink onto the table... And they even stay put! Now roger hopes that he'll just hear the jingle of his cash register.
"The shaking is gone the dining room is once again peaceful, come in and enjoy a meal."
If you're fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help!
Massachusetts has very specific laws about the responsibilities and rights of landlords and tenants. For more information on tenant and landlord relationships please click below: