Dillon’s Grand has closed after a long-term lease agreement could not be reached, the restaurant’s co-owner said.

Besides the unsuccessful lease agreement discussions between Dillon’s and Sun City Grand, water damage to the restaurant’s roof, a problem that has persisted for seven years but wasn’t entirely fixed until recently, forced Dillon’s to close, said co-owner George Valverde. Dillon’s lease expires Dec. 15.

Valverde contends it was the responsibility of Sun City Grand, which leased the restaurant space to Dillon’s, to correct any major maintenance issues, but a poor business relationship exists between Dillon’s and Sun City Grand management, including executive director Mitzi Mills.

Attempts to reach Mills several times Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful. Her assistant, Karen Peterson, said she couldn’t be reached because of meetings.

Dillon’s, which has five Valley locations, is known for its brisket and pork sandwiches, as well as barbecue ribs. It’s also a popular gathering place in Sun City Grand as it is one of the few private businesses in the age-restricted community.

“Due to water damage and circumstances out of our control, we found it necessary to close unexpectedly,” Dillon’s Sun City Grand voicemail message states. “Dillon’s management sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused. We look forward to serving you at our other locations. Thank you for your patience.”

Two weeks ago, Dillon’s officials sat down with Mills and the Sun City Grand board of directors, though talks about renewing the lease were unsuccessful, Valverde said. He did not elaborate beyond saying the business relationship between Dillon’s and Sun City Grand has soured.

Valverde, who said Dillon’s had been trying to negotiate a new contract for more than two years, said he regrets having to leave Sun City Grand after developing friendships during nine years in business. The restaurant was located at 19900 N. Remington Drive, next to the clubhouse at Desert Springs Golf Course.

“We would love to go back, but I will not go back with Mitzi Mills,” he said.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or zcolick@yourwestvalley.com.

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