DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Just over six months ago, an Oregon District bar suddenly shut down, surprising both the community and the bar owners themselves.
The Tumbleweed Connection had been part of the Oregon District for the last 30 years; however, as of March 1, 2022, this Dayton favorite was forced to close, and it hasn’t served customers since.
So what happened?
According to the co-owner, Tanya Atkinson, the landlord, Michelle Schaney, changed the locks without notice after the two were unable to come to an agreement over a leasing dispute.
Atkinson’s next move was to file a civil lawsuit against both Shaney and the leasing company, the Shaney Family Limited Partnership. Six months later, the lawsuit continues to develop, and a third person has been pulled into the mix: the prior owner of the bar.
According to court documents, Atkinson first filed the lawsuit on March 4, saying that Schaney and the leasing company had broken the leasing contract. According to the complaint, the Tumbleweed owners and employees were incorrectly evicted from their place of business, causing them to lose a significant amount of money in ruined items, such as spoiled food that was locked inside the building. They also sued for the lost income due to the forced closure.
Atkinson asked to be granted a temporary restraining order that would allow her to continue operating out of that location until the case was settled. This request was denied.
Later, court documents show Shaney and the leasing company denied all accusations, saying that the lease had never been properly transferred to Tanya Atkinson.
According to the leasing company, the building still belonged to the former owner, Timothy Atkinson, making the liquor license illegal. The company said this meant Tanya Atkinson had no ability to sue over the broken lease.
The company then filed a lawsuit against both Timothy and Tanya Atkinson for damages and loss of income. According to court documents, whoever was running the building had refused to complete required repairs and failed to pay rent after March 1, 2022.
Timothy and Tanya both responded, stating that the lease should speak for itself. Timothy also sued Michelle Shaney individually, saying she had broken the contract of her lease with him by not notifying him of the unpaid rent, something she was required to do if, as she claimed, he was the true holder of the lease.
At this time, the lawsuits and counterclaims have not yet come to a resolution. The Atkinsons and the landlords will meet for a final time in October before a jury trial in November.
WDTN reached out to all parties involved for comment, but has yet to hear back.