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Popular Dallas Restaurant Crumbling From Foundation Problems

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A popular Dallas restaurant is in danger of falling apart, and its owner says the landlord won't pay to fix it.

Sambuca ushered in a modern-era supper club in Dallas 25 years ago, and patrons like Steve Juett keep coming back.

"It's not overbearing. I can bring them and have a conversation. The service is good. The food is absolutely wonderful," said Juett.

However, owner Kim Forsythe says the restaurant he poured his heart and soul into has visible cracks from severe foundation problems. The issues are causing fire exit doors to jam and floors to slope as much as eight inches.

The problems even go as far as broken pipes that create a smell no restaurant owner would tolerate. "When you have a broken pipe and you have a sewer smell and people get that in their heads, it's hard to still turn it around and make it a great evening for people," he said.

Forsythe has filed a lawsuit against the landlord he leases the property from accusing MetLife and others of ignoring repairs to drive him out and raise the rent for someone else.

"I think the cost to fix this building would be a lot because it is in bad shape," said Forsythe.

Forsythe says the landlord is putting the safety of customers at risk and even suspects sabotage after the landlord decided to sandblast the parking lot on Valentine's Day which covered vehicles with dust. "It just not appropriate. It's my second busiest day of the year," he said.

Forsythe says he has spent thousands of dollars a year replacing collapsed ceiling tiles and repairing flood damage. He wants the damages from the landlord. Otherwise, Sambuca's future is uncertain, he says.

CBS 11 attempted to make contact with MetLife and its attorneys but have yet to hear back. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in October.

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