On Sunday, Tini Wine Bar in Red Hook will move five blocks to its sister location, the Home/Made shop. Show up at 11 a.m. to help them move and they’ll reward you with coffee, pastries, and other bites. The owners, Monica Byrn and Leisah Wenson, tell us they’re delighted to be moving to a bigger space with a 17-by-28-foot backyard and a full kitchen, meaning they can expand their menu to feature more grilled pizzas and breakfast items, among other things. All Home/Made items will still be for sale. So what about this e-mail they sent about having to move because of “greedy landlord syndrome”?
A friend of Tini’s landlord tells us (along with Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn) that Tini was actually a subletter, and the landlord refused to renew the lease with Tini directly because they owed the leaseholder $16,000. Byrn and Wenson, though, tell us they paid their landlord directly every month, and don’t owe anyone anything — they say the dispute goes back to when they offered to turn their friend Tina Luongo’s pet store into Tini Wine Bar. Rather than paying key money for Luongo’s business (something they say they never would’ve agreed to), they footed the bill for the space’s conversion and offered Luongo equal partnership in Tini. Last summer, after Luongo broke with her partners of a year, they got a surprise: “She and the landlord jointly had another lawyer send us a letter saying that in order to negotiate a new lease we’d have to pay $18,000 in key money.” Hence Tini’s move.
Ah well, hopefully all of that is water under the bridge. One thing’s for sure — none of it will hinder our enjoyment of Home/Made’s beer garden when it opens in mid-April.