Arabella’s Landing GM: Red Rooster Cafe Lease Revoked Due to 'Non-Payment of Rent'

Red Rooster Cafe owner Jamie Radcliffe refused an offer to forgive a debt of more than $34,000, according to John Moist, general manager for Arabella’s Landing Marina.

Editor's Note: General Manager for Arabella’s Landing Marina, John Moist, released the following letter regarding the closure of Red Rooster Cafe to Patch on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013:

My name is John Moist and I have been the General Manager for Arabella’s Landing Marina, owned by Stan and Judy Stearns, for ten years.  This year Arabella’s celebrates our 19th year in business as the premier destination marina in the south Puget Sound.  Located on the property are four spaces for lease.  The Red Rooster location is one of the four.  I am positive that if you ask the other tenants they will tell you what fair and honest people the Stearns are.  While we dislike engaging in he said she said dialogue, we feel that it is time to put an end to the untruths and false accusations spilling forth from social media comments regarding the closure of the Red Rooster Café and Collectables.

On December 28, 2012 Miss Jamie Radcliffe, owner the Red Rooster Café and Collectibles, was presented with a letter written by me, without written benefit of council on behalf of Stan and Judy Stearns and Arabella’s Landing Marina, revoking her lease effective January 1, 2013 due to non-payment of rent.  The amount due was in excess of $23,000.00.  Of that amount $15,600.00 was deferred for the period August 2010 through June 2011 in order to give her time to build her business.  She was required to repay that amount from receipts during the summer months when business should be excellent.  Additionally, Mr. Stearns loaned Miss Radcliffe the sum of $11,000.00 to purchase equipment and food.  All of these sums were detailed in her lease agreement and agreed to and signed by Miss Radcliffe.  

In late October Miss Radcliffe came to me and asked us to give her until the end of the year before evicting her.  Miss Radcliffe was aware that winter was upon her and she would be unable to pay her full rent as occurred in 2010 and 2011.  I passed this request along to Mr. Stearns.  Mr. Stearns told me numerous times, over the nearly two and a half years, that he simply did not want her to fail and was willing to gave her every opportunity to succeed but now enough was enough.  Anymore and his support and benevolence would turn into a very poor business decision.  

Of the 29 months Miss Radcliffe’s Lease Agreement was in effect Mr. Stearns deferred payments for a total of 11 months.  Miss Radcliffe paid monthly invoices in their entirety a total of 4 times and she paid in excess of the monthly invoices 4 times for a total overpayment of $2,208.00.  Of course this overpayment total went towards the months she was short or paid nothing.  The bottom line is Miss Radcliffe failed to pay her invoices in full a total of 10 out of 18 months.

The letter that I presented to Miss Radcliffe on December 28, 2012 was a “settlement agreement.”  In return for her walking away from the business in an orderly manner, leaving everythingbehind except for her roosters to include leaving the space clean she would be forgiven her debt of more than $34,000.00.  Miss Radcliffe said no to the offer.

There is no intent on the part of Arabella’s Landing Marina to lease the retail space to any third party who wants to reopen the Red Rooster Café.  Since December 28, 2012 Miss Radcliffe and/or her friends have been seen removing items from the restaurant. In addition, a walk through inspection on December 31, 2012 revealed the space to be filthy. 

These numbers were taken from QuickBooks and are to the best of my knowledge accurate.

It is my hope that this statement puts to rest any and all thoughts that the Stearns are anything but honest hard working people who care deeply about the future of Gig Harbor.

John Moist, January 5, 2013

Jerry L. January 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM
That blog doesn't seem to have anything to do with the heart of the matter. It appears she is still trying to point the finger at someone else for her failed business. It's time to get over it and move on already. The Red Rooster's Facebook page is also still up. This business is no longer open and certainly not located at the address she has listed.
Gig Harbor Neighbor January 12, 2013 at 11:43 PM
You're right, GH Fisherman, there are 23 open lawsuits against her, not 14. I apologize for the misinformation I provided before.
GH Fisherman January 12, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Jerry - The fact that the property owner and the property manager clearly planned to bring someone new in and have them take over, keeping everything (including the name, menu, decor, etc. the same, and requested that she provide 30 days support to the new owner shows that the Red Rooster in no way failed. Then the property manager posted complete lies and denied what they had done as well as their plans to keep the restaurant open as the Red Rooster. It appears to me that she wanted to share the truth with the community. Can you blame her? Really? Although I don't know her personally, from what I have heard by many locals, this woman was clearly strong armed by the owner and his manager, but was smart enough not to comply with their unethical requests. Doesn't appear to be any finger pointing in her blog. Just documents proving how sick and heartless the owners of Arabella's landing truly are. It's awful that in such a beautiful community that people like this are among those of us who have morals. I hope she does open someplace else!
GH Fisherman January 13, 2013 at 12:04 AM
GH neighbor - I am signing off now to enjoy spending the evening with my family. No doubt, you are likely a family member of one of Mr. Moist or Mr. Stearns ~ You should stop making up lies as you are making yourself (and them) look more foolish each time you post. This community has spoken on more than one online site and with exception of a few people, it is VERY CLEAR that Jamie Radcliffe has OUR SUPPORT. Take your lies somewhere else and stop trying to make this woman look bad. The only one who looks bad is you and the jerks who pulled this unethical crap in the first place. The smartest thing that could have been done here would have been for Stan Stearns to have kept the Red Rooster open with the original owner and watched it continue to grow. It would have been far better for his already damaged reputation within the city of Gig Harbor. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Go Seahawks!
Randy Wills January 13, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Thanki you Akiko.
Randy Wills January 13, 2013 at 01:02 AM
GH Fisherman, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but as a Gig Harbor resident you don't speak for me, so please don't assume to. I don't know any of the parties involved, the only thing I know is that I went to the Red Rooster twice each time the food was ok and the service was not acceptable, thus I decided to not return. I will say, that majority of my friends here in the Harbor, expressed similar experiences and had made similar decisions; this was generally soon after the Rooster's opening so things may have changed later, I don't know.
Jerry L. January 13, 2013 at 01:46 AM
GH Fisherman, thanks. You mentioned the woman was strong armed by the owner and his manager, but was smart enough not to comply with their unethical requests. What do you mean by strong armed? and what were the unethical requests? Seems that from a legal standpoint there is breach of contract (not paying rent) that is documented on the woman's blog. I see nothing that makes the request unethical.
Jerry L. January 13, 2013 at 02:37 AM
GH Fisherman, you don't represent me either. Arabella's is the best marina in town and I will return time and time again. The Steans' are awesome people.
Mary W. January 13, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Agreed, not a representative of this community.
Judy Sanderford January 13, 2013 at 07:11 AM
Why do I see nothing from Stan Stearns' personally....only from his marina manager, John Moist, who's comments are at best unprofessional. The owner, Mr. Stearns' reputation as a kind and generous man doesn't fit with a 3 day eviction of a single mother and with no regard for the employees.... It is not for me to judge why this business is being closed, only why there was no reasonable and fair consideration for this young woman, who had poured her heart and soul into her dream of owning her own business and for her staff of people who depended on their paychecks for survival.
Little Miss Sunshine! :) January 13, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Amen, Judy Sanderford! Exactly my thoughts.
Shawn Fairbanks January 13, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Judy you are delusional. Why would anyone comment on this smut? THE SIGNS ARE DOWN, SHE'S LOCKED OUT, AND IT'S OVER FOR THE DEAD ROOSTER! Amen to that, bitches!
Brenda F. January 13, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Amen Shawn! The case of the woman who got evicted for not paying her rent is CLOSED!!! THE END!!
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:43 PM
The following is a review written by SB. S of Gig Harbor on Yelp, on 4/13/11. After that is a response written by Miss Radcliffe. As you will see, there is a pattern of her having a very different perspective that everyone else, or in other words, she has an "altered reality." Ok, I have tried this place SEVERAL times. I really like to see local restaurants succeed so I have been generous with my visits to this place since the day it opened. On our first visit, my veggie sandwich was a soggy mess and it took about and hour to get to my table. With a bag of chips and can of Coke. Gross! The second visit I had a sandwich that had ONE, and I mean ONE deli slice of turkey on it. Are you kidding me?! I won't go on as to the other visits except for the last time I was in there. I wanted to grab a quick latte to-go and when I walked in, the cafe smelled disgusting. I couldn't even stay in there to order a drink. A combination of garbage and dirty laundry.
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:43 PM
The service is awful and I can say with complete confidence that this is not because they are bad servers, it is because they have terrible management. Anyone can be trained to be a good server, but it has to start with good ownership/management. The food is just plain horrible. I mean WTH?! Who actually TRIES to have food like Denny's and even fails at that?! This place is a disaster and needs a major overhaul. Either bring in a consultant to get your FOH in order and a menu that is actually good or have the investing partners find a new managing partner because that is where the problem lies. Stop buying your goods at Costco and start putting some quality ingredients and ingenuity into your recipes. To end this review, all I can say is where is Gordon Ramsey and Kitchen Nightmares? This place needs you! ***UPDATE*** Based on the owner's response, I'm not sure this place is taking into account the cumulative response here on http://yelp.com. There are several bad reviews. As a former restaurant manager, I definitely know what I am talking about. Just be glad I didn't write a review for every time I visited and just put it into one. One thing the owner got right, this place definitely isn't for me!
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Here is Miss Radcliffe's response: Hello SB S. - I am quite stumped as to how to respond to this review. I will start out by saying I am sorry that you have such strong feelings of disappointment and negativity toward the Red Rooster. Of course as expected with a new business of any type we have had numerous kinks to work out and improvements/changes we've made etc. The accusations of the RR smelling of dirty laundry and garbage is very confusing to me as we have a large number of very loyal repeat customers who visit sometimes several times weekly.... I feel blessed that I have been able to get to know some great folks who have become regulars as well as friends. The RR staff takes pride in keeping the restaurant as well as kitchen area clean at all times. I have never had a single customer complain of a bad smell until now. I am sorry as to what ever caused you to be so overwhelmed that you were unable to stand it and were forced to leave. Concerning the service, I will say that our team strives to treat the customers as family. I'm not sure how you had such a horrible experience with the service based on the fact that you found the smell to be so horrid that you could not stand to stay long enough to order a coffee for take out? That being the case it seems as though the server working at the time would never even had the opportunity to offer service?
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Again, I am truly sorry you seem to be so disappointed with what we offer. I value every customer as well as the feedback each one provides. As the owner I am always 100% willing to compensate for any error we make or do my best to fix anything that is upsetting to a customer..... I'm not sure in this case I can say anything to change your feelings. I want to close by saying that I am proud to use Costco as ONE of my choices as to where food is purchased. I love being able to go daily as needed and pick the quality and freshness with my own hands and see it with my own eyes. Depending on the other food service companies for 100% of our product would mean I never got to be the one who verified that what we have on hand is ALWAYS fresh, crisp, and top notch. I feel confident that the RR has many many happy customers. I know because I talk to them every day. I welcome suggestions, criticism, and of course praise as well. I opened the RR for the people of GH to enjoy and I will continue to put 150% each and every day to make it an inviting, family friendly, clean, establishment that serves yummy fresh food that is also reasonably priced. I appreciate your numerous visits in which it sounds all were horrible. Maybe the RR is just simply not for you....however I appreciate your efforts.
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:46 PM
To all of the people reading this review and response. I hope you will take the time to stop into the Red Rooster in order to establish your own opinion. If in fact anyone is in anyway unhappy with the service, smell, or quality of food..... Simply ask to speak to me (Jamie) and I will resolve any issue immediately. It's important to me that my customers are happy. Why else would I have opened a cafe? Life is too short not to leave with a smile :) Sincerely, Jamie Radcliffe (owner)
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Here's another review from Yelp written by Michelle T. of Gig Harbor on 12/21/10. When you read Miss Radcliffe's response you will notice a phrase she likes to use quite often when people say things she doesn't like. "My husband and I went to Lunch here Monday the 20th of December. What a nightmare! The owner was our server and she started out by bringing us our pop, the only problem, she put the dirty can of Soda inside the cup on top of the ice! I was horrified! doesn't she know how dirty the cans are. I was also horrified because a Photographer came in to take her Picture for Advertising and she took our Lunch off the counter and danced around the Restaurant with our food, set in on someone elses table and 5 minutes later brought it back to us. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? never go here. What a loser this place is. RUN!!!!!!!!!!!"
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Here's Radcliffe's response, on Yelp, written 1/25/11: "As a business owner it is obviously disappointing to find out that a customer is less than pleased with their visit to your restaurant, I love feedback wether positive or negative because it gives me the ability to improve. In this particular case however, I am pretty blown away. The accusations made by this customer are simply not true. I can back this up with evidence based on facts and credible witnesses. The cans of soda were delivered on a tray. We always deliver a glass filled with ice and a straw and the can of pop which we open in front of the customer. The second accusation about "the owner dancing around the restaurant with the food" is just simply a bold face lie. Scott, the head photographer for the Gig Harbor Life news paper stopped in unexpectedly to snap a few photos for an article he was doing on the Red Rooster. The restaurant was basically empty. Only 2 tables were occupied, one by the lady who posted this comment and her husband.... and the other was 2 ladies sitting at a table about 12 to 15 feet away,
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:55 PM
When the order was up, I walked over and picked up the 2 plates. While walking to deliver their food Scott the photographer stopped in front of me and asked me to hold the plates in front of me while he shot 3 or 4 quick photos. I was a little caught off guard. Made me a bit embarrassed but I certainly did nothing even remotely similar to "dancing around the room with their food. The next thing stated by this customer was that I took their food to the wrong table. Yes, I have no problem admitting that the confusion of the photos, etc. left my head a bit scattered and I walked to the other table that was also 2 people and upon setting the plates down, the 2 ladies laughed and quickly let me know that it was not what they ordered. Immediately, I said "oops", apologized, turned around and walked immediately back to the 1st table and gave them their order. The whole process took a total of 35 seconds max. How in the world this could be considered 5 minutes is completely unknown to me, Scott from GH life was there the whole time witnessing things and he agrees this is simply an untrue accusation that makes absolutely sense.
A. Terry January 14, 2013 at 04:57 PM
When it was all said and done, the couple ate their entire meal, nothing left on either plate. Their sodas were completely empty as well. They left the cafe smiling and also left a good tip. Believe it or not the husband and I were even having a nice conversation about growing up in the area etc. This comment seems so strange to me. I just want to say an open apology to Michelle T. who left it. My customers are very important to me. I am very sorry you had a bad experience. Sincerely, Jamie Radcliffe These comments from yelp just provide a glimpse into Miss Radcliffe's pattern. But, as you can see, she doesn't seem to see the reality as the rest of us do. Perhaps that's why she's so convinced she's been wronged here, just as she was convinced her customers were liars.
A. Terry January 15, 2013 at 01:40 AM
The Red Rooster is closed now, and it's clear why it is closed, so this matter really should be put to rest. Unfortunately, Ms. Radcliffe continues to trash Mr. Stearns and Mr. Moist with her alternate reality on her blog and on the Facebook page for the Red Rooster, which as I understand it shouldn't be under her management any longer as the Red Rooster is closed. The things people have said about Mr. Stearns on her Facebook page are truly deplorable. It is clear that Ms. Radcliffe is trying damage all future business at any establishments that he owns, and it seems, from the very ugly responses, that she is succeeding. Many comments on her Facebook page are personal attacks: according to Thomas Garrett "Mr. Stearns must have tiny balls." Marilyn Lunka Timlick said "What a scumbag.....what a dishonest person. Wish I knew what other businesses this jerk has, would make a point to not do business there." There are many, many more. The only forum for those who support Stearns to speak up is this site, so I hope people continue to read it. Ms. Radcliffe deletes anything from her page that's not to her liking. It is very clear, from her history, that Ms. Radcliffe has a history of calling people liars, Her many responses to the negative feedback on Yelp further solidify this history. She clearly doesn't see the world as the rest of us. She has a history of not paying her bills, of being sued, and of telling dramatic stories that paint her as a victim. This woman must be stopped
Jamie Radcliffe January 15, 2013 at 07:38 AM
A. Terry... The following is a link for you (and the rest of the Patch community) to view if you choose to. I am ready to move on with my life. Please allow me to do so. http://compassionandconsideration.blogspot.com
Small business owner Gig Harbor January 16, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I am a long term small business owner in Gig Harbor. It has been so hard on us the last 4 yrs. We struggle but we always make it. I do understand why each party would want "their" story heard. I am confused by why it has this much attention and it is not in court. Are our lives so bad that we have to post such negative things about people? I do not know any of these people involved and have never been to RR. I am a face book follower of many of Gig Harbor businesses because I want to support our small town. That is how I have watched this all happen. I have no opinion on either side but wish that such hurtful things being said would stop. Gig Harbor is a wonderful community, I have been here for 40 yrs in the Gig Harbor, University place area and I hate to see we are doing this to each other. Someone needs to stop this and put the energy into making it right. Get into court and battle it out. Then when that is done and all the evidence is out we will know the truth. But to sit and fight this on social media is making Gig Harbor look bad along with the horrible comments that are going on here. It seems both are trying to avoid court but it seems that is where you need to be. I did not post this to battle, I am not taking sides. I think we need to be good to each other in order to keep Gig Harbor a great place. I recognize a lot of names here and am sad to see their post. You are well know in this community. I think if you are not directly involved, why be involved?
Brent Champaco January 22, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Hi all. I just wanted to remind everyone about our Terms of Use - http://gigharbor.patch.com/terms - which can be summed up in three basic principles: -Keep it clean -Don’t try to trick people -Treat others as you’d like to be treated Any user who violates this will lose privileges on Patch. Period. Let's all keep that in mind.
Karen February 06, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Wow! So it continues... But on The GH Patch, Ms. Radcliffe cannot delete comments with which she does not agree as she does on her FB page! (My comments were all deleted, but her responses were not which is why the thread makes no sense!) Ms. Radcliffe knows EXACTLY why she was evicted. And I don't know what was dishonest or unprofessional about what Mr. Moist wrote. And GH Fisherman... if loaning money to a tenant and then expecting that tenant to keep up with the rent is unethical, well, you have a pretty messed up definition of unethical! Also, when a tenant does not pay rent, there is usually something in the lease called "landlord's lein" (or something like that). Since all Ms. Radcliffe did not have money to pay her landlord, the landlord has a right to place a 'lein' on property purchased for the business and can also 'ask' for rights to intellectual property: name of business, menu, etc. "That's the fact, Jack!" As my Aunt Mary Alice says "There are THREE sides to every story: HIS side, HER side, and the RIGHT side." We have been privy to a very altered version of Ms. Radcliffe's side. (Who is no longer supposed to be speaking about the matter.) And perhaps the reason we are not hearing from Mr. Stearns is because: a) He has some class and b) His lawyer has recommended that he not comment publically. If Ms. Radcliffe truly wants to 'move on' then she should remove the FB page of a restaurant that's closed and do just that: move on!
Jamie Radcliffe February 06, 2013 at 04:15 AM
Karen, you have sent me numerous FB private messages, posted many many times harassing me with no respect for the fact I have asked you kindly to stop. I deleted nothing. Simply blocked you through Facebook which apparently removed your 10+ posts. As I have mentioned to you before, this situation has absolutely nothing to do with you. Please stop involving yourself. Clearly the RR Facebook page is really frustrating you. Don't look at it. That is a very simple solution.
Karen February 09, 2013 at 06:04 AM
Ms. Radcliffe , I have saved every single private message I have ever sent on Facebook since joining in 2008. ONE was sent to you and it was a copy of the letter Mr. Moist sent to you! Yes, I've posted on your RR page. So when someone disagrees with you , asks questions, and confronts you with erroneous statements you have made, that is harassing you? Well, then I guess what you and your 'supporters' (who have a pretty scary way of showing it) have been saying about Mr. Stearns and Mr. Moist, well, I would say they are being harassed! You will say you have never said anything about Mr. Stearns, you gave him a birthday present, etc.; however, I never saw you once object when people said he didn't deserve to breathe the same air as everyone else, karma would get him, he was unethical and worse. You said you wanted to move on, but you never encouraged others to do the same and stop with the bashing of Mr. Stearns or Mr. Moist! Your RR page doesn't frustrate me; the rude and untrue comments about the Stearns and Mr. Moist DO! You also accused Me. Stearns' daughter (by name) of not giving him your gift. That's not very nice, AND it's not true! This situation has nothing to do with a lot of the people who posted support for you either. IF you read the newspaper, you'll see that people who write 'Letters to the Editor' are rarely directly related or involved in the story on which they are commenting. People write in response to articles to express an opinion.
Cheryl Ingram March 10, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Hi Jamie, so sorry to hear about your business not making it. My little store Funky Diva Jeans Boutique didnt either. Wow! It sounds like you had investors. I think if i would have had some help like that & some advertising i think i would still be open. It is SO HARD to open a small business in WA state! It is such a greedy state & its no wonder there was no piece of the pie left for me. Anyway, it breaks my heart that things didnt work out for you. Thanks 4 ur support in my cute little store. Yours was pretty cute too. Best of luck 2 you in whatever you do. At this point i need a JOB!!!! Cheryl "Lilmoma" Ingram


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