Failed Council Candidate Evicted From 2 Businesses : Restaurants: Charles (Buster) Davis is kicked out over a financial dispute with his landlord.


A week after an unsuccessful bid for City Council, restaurateur Charles (Buster) Davis was slapped with an eviction notice and kicked out of two downtown businesses over a financial dispute with his landlord.

His cornerstone barbecue grill on Thompson Boulevard was boarded shut on Wednesday, a day after he cleared out his office and kitchen on Palm Street.

Davis still operates his restaurant off Johnson Drive in east Ventura. On Wednesday, the 46-year-old restaurant owner sat and quietly discussed his eviction--a move he blamed on a legal battle with his landlord, Meyerstein & Weiss of Beverly Hills.

“His basis for evicting me was because I refused to pay him late charges, I refused to pay him taxes on the property,” Davis said. “In sums of money, it was nothing. . . . If I had paid him $15,000, it would have been done with.”


Davis said he refused to pay the fees because his landlord failed to build the Thompson Boulevard restaurant to designs they had agreed upon, and he accused the property owners of bullying him.

“It was pure vindictive,” he said.

Court records show that Davis owes $13,616 to Meyerstein & Weiss. He also owes $21,117 in back taxes to the state Board of Equalization and several thousand dollars in unpaid debts to other parties.

Davis, who loaned himself $6,000 for his council campaign this fall, had filed for bankruptcy protection in 1992 for his business, court records show.

An attorney representing Meyerstein & Weiss said the property owners had been trying to evict Davis for months but had to get permission from U.S. Bankruptcy Court before they could proceed.

“It was kind of a drawn-out process,” said Robert Long, an attorney representing Meyerstein & Weiss. Long said the eviction was for non-payment but declined to discuss the case further.

Davis said he hopes to return to downtown Ventura at some point and plans to open another restaurant in Saticoy, where his original Buster’s Bar-B-Que was shut down by a highway-widening project a few years ago.

“This is just another saga of Buster’s,” Davis said Wednesday. “I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I’m tough. I can be ruthless. I am kind and generous, and I can stand up for right. And when I stand up for right, right will prevail.”

A lifelong resident of Ventura, Davis finished fifth in the race for three City Council seats last week out of a field of 12 candidates, garnering 7,208 votes.

During his campaign, Davis promoted himself as a Ventura native and downtown businessman in touch with the needs of the community.

He accumulated a campaign war chest of $9,439 and spent $9,806, according to campaign finance reports.

The bulk of his contributions came from a series of personal loans.