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The Simple Greek in Mt. Lebanon closes

Theresa Clift
| Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, 3:03 p.m.
The Simple Greek (formerly My Big Fat Greek Gyro) restaurant in Mount Lebanon Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014.
James Knox | Trib Total Media
The Simple Greek (formerly My Big Fat Greek Gyro) restaurant in Mount Lebanon Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014.

The Simple Greek restaurant in Mt. Lebanon has closed, amid an ongoing legal battle.

Michael Ference and his wife, Kathleen Kamouyerou Ference, who founded the chain as My Big Fat Greek Gyro, filed a lawsuit in December against Marcus Lemonis, the host of CNBC's “The Profit.”

The Washington County couple went on the show in 2014 in the hopes of rescuing their business but say Lemonis forced them out and never paid them the $350,000 he promised, according to the complaint filed in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Lemonis paid more than $150,000 to renovate the Mt. Lebanon restaurant and has done nothing wrong, he told Courthouse News Service .

Michael Ference, who is no longer involved with the fast-casual restaurant chain, told the Trib he expects the case to go to trial soon.

Ference said the Mt. Lebanon location had long-standing issues before it closed about a month ago.

The Allegheny County Health Department issued a consumer alert about the restaurant Aug. 3 , which it lifted Aug. 7.

A location opened in Highland Park, Ill., but closed in January after about two years, according to Crain's Chicago Business .

Despite the closures, the chain's footprint has been growing.

The chain has opened 15 locations nationwide, including in Market Square and McMurray.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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