DETROIT – When employees at Green Dot Stables came in for prep on Tuesday morning, they found a fence build through the parking lot -- blocking employees from their dumpster, a storage container with the restaurant’s dry ingredients inside and even an employee’s car.
The fence was the latest escalation in a months-long back-and-forth over the small piece of land.
“It’s crazy,” said Green Dot Stables owner Jacques Driscoll. “I woke up to the picture from one of our managers and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
Driscoll said he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The parking lot that the restaurant had used for 50 years had been fenced off.
“They came in the middle of the night, put that fence up and I thought we were still trying to talk with them about some sort of deal where this wouldn’t happen but they told me to stop talking to them,” Driscoll said.
The “they” he’s talking about is the Detroit International Bridge Company owned by the Moroun family -- the same family who owns the Ambassador Bridge and is known for their controversial business practices.
The Detroit International Bridge Company claims they have a deed for the area and they want to charge Green Dot Stables $1,000 a month to keep using it and keep maintaining it.
“We’ve been paving it, maintaining it, cleaning up the garbage that blows up on their fence line,” Driscoll said. “For years, we’ve cleaned up their blight.”
The restaurant filed an injunction in August to prevent a fence from being installed. It wasn’t granted until Wednesday and a judge said the fence has to come down.
“I’m not happy about it. I’m kind of bewildered by the whole thing. It’s a silly thing,” Driscoll said. “They said they wanted to be reasonable but I don’t think putting up a fence and blocking all our stuff in is a reasonable gesture.”
But it could be the start of a costly legal fight.
A manager at Green Dot Stables said the fence will come down one way or another. They were hoping to get the Detroit International Bridge Company to take it down, but it looks like restaurant staff will be taking it down themselves.
Local 4 reached out to the Detroit International Bridge Company, but did not hear back.