The Penguin Drive-In finds itself in a classic good news-bad news situation this week.
The good news: Its featured prominently in Bad Grandpa, a movie comedy by the Jackass team that was shot mainly in Charlotte and opens nationally Friday.
The bad news: The folks who run it are being sued by their landlord, a company that claims the Penguin owners have defaulted on their lease and a loan made earlier this year.
The lawsuit has been filed by 1921 Commonwealth Ave. Holdings LLC, which leased the property to Penguin Drive-In last April and loaned $17,763 to the people running it.
According to the suit, Commonwealth demanded payment in full of the remainder of the loan after the August rent was not paid; Penguin paid the August rent, did not pay the note in full, and has not paid the September rent.
The suit also demands that possession of the Penguins collateral defined in the suit as equipment, inventory, goods, fixtures, financial accounts, etc. be turned over to Commonwealth. A receivership hearing has been set for Nov. 13, when both parties will come before a judge.
Attorney Don Rawlins, who represents Commonwealth, declined to comment on the suit; Lisa Ballentine, registered agent for the Penguin (and daughter of Jim Ballentine, who opened it in 1954), also declined to comment Wednesday.
A records check also showed that the Internal Revenue Service has placed liens totaling $32,006 against Penguin Drive-In LLC for unpaid federal taxes. The bulk of that total was assessed in February of this year; $432 was added in June.
Lawrence Toppman: 704-358-5232
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