Dirty Lemon founder Zachary Normandin sued for $300K in unpaid rent at Tribeca store

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But Normandin and his affiliate companies also face lawsuits from shipping companies over alleged unpaid bills. United Parcel Service Inc., for one, claims the entrepreneur owes $153,000, records show. Forward Financing, a small-business lender, has accused him of being in arrears to the tune of $106,000.

With $15 million in Series A financing from investors such as the Winklevosses, which put early funding into Facebook, and ex-Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, according to Crunchbase, Normandin won early praise for his 16-ounce detox products, which feature ginseng, matcha and collagen, among other ingredients.

Normandin vowed to “rebuild the infrastructure that has powered beverages since the 1800s,” according to a 2018 profile in The New York Times. In an unusual move, he decided that his store would not be staffed but instead rely on a sort of honor system.

Shoppers would text the company to let it know how many cans they were taking from the three coolers inside. Dirty Lemon would then request their credit-card number.

If people stole juices, Normandin planned to write down the losses as marketing expenses, he said at the time. Dirty Lemon’s marketing budget was $4 million.

Since the store closed last year, Normandin has tried to reinvent the space, although controversy has ensued with those efforts as well. The plan is to make the space into L’Entree, a wine bar and cocktail lounge, although he has so far failed to secure a state liquor license.

That seems difficult. Neighbors have filed into meetings of Manhattan Community Board 1 to denounce the project. Critics say parties held in the space in the past year have been loud and rowdy, and Steven Rand, a neighbor of the Apex Gallery at 291 Church St., has actually sued Normandin to put a halt to the bashes thrown there.

For his part, Normandin has said the parties weren’t his doing, because he had rented out the space and had little control over his tenants’ behavior.

Four rental apartments plus the storefront make up 293 Church St., a 5-story prewar building near White Street. The rent for the store, which includes the basement, is $13,500 a month, documents show. Normandin’s apartment rent for $7,500.

Cheryl Ginsburg, a lawyer for the limited liability company that owns 293 Church St., declined to comment. A request for comment from Winklevoss went unanswered. An email sent to Normandin was not returned.

But Heather Ticotin, the lawyer handling Normandin’s real estate cases, said her client has no intention of vacating 293 Church St. and is hopeful that his debts can be resolved.

“There were habitability issues with the place, but we are hoping to work things out with the landlord,” Ticotin said. “But my client plans on staying.”



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