Rob B. gave you a great list of key elements to consider when negotiating a restaurant/bar deal. Many restaurant leases are indeed structured as NNN. If I were you, I'd consider a N or NN lease (sometimes referred to as "modified gross"). In this type of lease, the landlord typically pays taxes (N) and/or certain maintenance expenses (NN). I prefer this lease type because (as the landlord) you're collecting $$ each month to put toward taxes, roof replacement, etc. In an absolute NNN lease, you're depending on the tenant to take care of your investment and you'll inevitably be disappointed.
If your bar/restaurant tenant is having a hard time, property taxes and quality repairs will be the last thing on their mind. By the time you're able to enforce your legal rights, you may find yourself standing in line to collect damages.
In one of my personal restaurant leasing experiences, it took 12 months from the date of filing a dispossessory to receive a favorable decision from a judge and get the property back on course. During that period, we had to pay legal fees and property taxes (to avoid a tax sale)...all while collecting no rent. After regaining possession, we had to replace windows, resurface the parking lot, etc.
Like Rob B. suggested, be ready to make concessions for a solid tenant who has enough cash to do a quality renovation and keep the business afloat during the first couple of years.
Jan 10, 2011