Southern Charm Star JD Madison’s Gentry Bar Closes; Sued For Unpaid Rent

southern charm jd

Well, Well … what have we here [insert a JD Madison cackle here]. It turns out that Gentry Bar & Grill, the restaurant owned by the Southern Charm extra and BFF of Thomas Ravenel, and often featured on the show, has closed! Even worse: JD has been evicted from the premises and served a lawsuit for unpaid rent. If there were ever time for a bourbon…

JD, legally John David, owes $163,000 in unpaid rent to the King Street building’s owner. Initially initially made an agreement with the landlord to hand over $144,844 – the full past due balance – by Aug 25, but failed to deliver, which resulted in the lawsuit.

Last week JD confirmed Gentry’s closing. “It is no secret that doing business on King Street has become difficult for the tenants due to astronomical rent and tight terms. On the flipside, it is a great time to own property on King Street,” he told Charleston City Paper.

He blames the eviction on failure of the landlord and insists the closure is temporary! JD explains that the lease “renewal terms forced us to seek a new home for Gentry Bar & Room.” Apparently the building changed owners, but he maintains that Gentry is a successful business.

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“We worked, in good faith, to resolve the property, lease, and rent issues with the landlord over the past six months. The money to settle the consent order was in the attorney’s escrow account…,” JD continued. “We are taking the next two weeks to care for employees, settle with our vendors, and handle the private parties. After that, we are dedicating ourselves to finding a new home for Gentry Bar & Room.”

According to the suit filed in U.S. District Court, the lease renegotiation came only after JD failed to repay the past due balance, or communicate a plan with the landlord – the owners even agreed to reduce the amount by giving Gentry the option to only use the first floor of the building.  The suit alleges that when the landlord sent JD the new lease he never responded, and asserts that even after JD failed to pay his arrears the landlord “withheld evicting Madison based on his claim that he needed additional time to close his deal with investors.” Delays which JD blamed on Hurricane Irma. Sounds to me like the hurricane was JD’s investors bailing on a messy business arrangement…

The landlord defends the suit as a necessity because the JD was “seriously delinquent on his rent” and several attempts to forestall which went unmet, causing the landlord to lose faith.  The landlords issued a statement which said, “After two weeks of negotiation and nonpayment of rent for September, and having received none of the past due rent and no firm commitment as to if and when it might be delivered, landlord acted on its right to evict.”

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JD was forced to vacate on Sept 18, and claims had no idea he had been sued. Maybe he can borrow money from Thomas? At least this probably gives him a storyline for SC season 5 – rebuilding Gentry, or a whole new business. Oh goody!

You can see copies of the lawsuit here. I gotta say – I’m pretty disappointed. I had always assumed JD had a legit, longstanding business, and not one of the usual Bravo messes.


[Photo Credit: Bravo]