The birds may be back.

Two colorful macaws and an African gray bird that have lived for more than a decade in the outdoor courtyard at Duval Square, just outside New York Pasta Garden restaurant, may be able to return.

Restaurant and bird owner Lea Fettis received a letter on July 9 from the condominium board that governs Duval Square, a mix of first-floor retail shops and restaurants with vacation rentals on the second floor. The letter told Fettis that the birds violated his lease and had to be removed, “even though we took over the lease in an as-is condition, with the birds present,” Fettis said.

“We started taking the birds home at night rather than leaving them in the courtyard in case they were too loud at night. But that wasn’t good enough. I also offered to pay additional rent for use of the common area.”

The condo board’s ousting of the birds prompted a public outcry against the condo board and in favor of the birds, and led Fettis to meet with his attorney, Michael Halpern, to evaluate his options and consider litigation against the condo board and association.

“These condo boards, all over town and all over the country, are holding people ransom with their bully tactics and overreach,” Fettis told the Keys Weekly in late July. “Life is hard enough during this pandemic and the state of affairs in the world without having to worry about losing your business or your home for frivolous reasons.”

Halpern met with one of the board members the week of Aug. 9 and received somewhat positive news.

“She told (Halpern) we may be able to bring the birds back, but with some stipulations,” Fettis said. He then received a text message from the condo board president on Aug. 13.

“He said the board had agreed to let the birds return with stipulations,” Fettis said. “We are sure the stipulations will be governed with much scrutiny and that their goal is to have us default, but it is a step in the right direction. Mike Halpern met with a couple of the board members, and they seem to want to avoid litigation with me for right now, especially with all the public support the birds have received since the article ran in the Keys Weekly.”

Condo board exiles restaurant’s resident birds