Yo Burrito in Charleston closing next week; building sold at foreclosure

Yo Burrito is shutting its doors in downtown Charleston next week after the property at 77 Wentworth St. was sold for $3.5 million in a court-ordered foreclosure auction Tuesday.

The Charleston County Master-in-Equity turned over the deed Wednesday to the mortgage lender, JRA Family LLC, a Utah-based company, according to Charleston County court documents.

The property had been owned by Wentworth Brothers LLC, which is registered to Nicholas Powers. He is identified in court documents as an owner of Yo Burrito.

A bank foreclosed on Wentworth Brothers in 2011 for missing payments on a $2.8 million mortgage loan it borrowed in 2006. The case was frozen after the borrower filed for bankruptcy in May. The foreclosure proceedings were set back in motion in September when the court denied the bankruptcy petition, according to court documents.

Court documents also show Yo Burrito's leasehold interest in the Wentworth Street building was "extinguished" by a Charleston judge on Dec. 27.

Efforts to reach Powers for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Yo Burrito's last day in the space is Jan. 31, according to the restaurant's Facebook page. Its sister restaurant, YoBo Cantina Fresca, will remain open at South Windermere shopping center in West Ashley.

Katharine Gottfried, who co-owns YoBo Cantina Fresca, said management has been searching for a new location for Yo Burrito for the past few weeks, with hopes of remaining downtown.

"We have all the equipment and the staff, now we just need another restaurant," she said.

This is the second time Yo Burrito has had to hunt for a new home downtown.

The restaurant was forced out of its original location at 86 Wentworth St. in 2006 when the College of Charleston bought that building to expand its campus.

Yo Burrito's lease was terminated, and after more than a year of legal battles, the school paid the restaurant $95,000 to settle the issue.

Yo Burrito then bought 77 Wentworth St. The restaurant had a second location for some time in Mount Pleasant on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, but it closed in late 2011.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail

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