Last August, Heat guard Dwyane Wade and a company called D Wade’s Place signed a contract to open restaurants with Wade’s name on them. In exchange, Wade would receive a 10 percent interest in the business.
Almost a year later, two D. Wade’s Sports Grills have opened and shut – one each in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale – and D Wade’s Place is suing the Olympics-bound Wade for breach of contract.
In the suit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Friday, D Wade’s Place representatives Mark Rodberg and Richard von Houtman allege Wade breached the contract by not making the required marketing and promotional appearances on behalf the restaurants. That has led to the restaurants’ failure and delay in opening a third location in Aventura, the suit says. The Boca location closed a couple of months ago; the Fort Lauderdale one was shut June 12.
The company is seeking more than $15,000 in damages plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
But according to Steven Peretz, an attorney representing Wade, it’s the star basketball player who has been hurt by the arrangement. He said Wade, who has met his promotional obligations, told company officials in May to concentrate on its existing businesses “before he’d agree to have any expansion of the restaurants take place.”
“If anything, Dwyane has a concern that the value of his name has been tarnished by ceasing operation of the restaurants,” Peretz said, adding that it was Wade who tried to put the brakes on the company from growing too quickly. “This is an instance where D. Wade called a timeout on the expectation of the restaurants. The pilot restaurants have not shown any record for success.”
Peretz said Wade also has the right to view the company’s finances, but the business has failed to share any meaningful information.