Blind Pig sues former landlord, business partner - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Blind Pig sues former landlord, business partner

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The now-closed Blind Pig restaurant accuses its former business partner of inappropriately taking money while managing a bar called Meat that had been located above the Butchertown eatery, according to a lawsuit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court on Monday.

Despite earning critical praise, The Blind Pig closed in October after being evicted from its building at 1076 E. Washington St.  In issuing the eviction order, a judge ruled the restaurant owed more than $37,000 in rent, insurance and fees.

The suit filed Monday names Charles Peyton Ray III of Louisville and the company that owns the building, SP Holdings – which appears to be controlled by Ray, according to Blind Pig attorney Pete Lay.

In 2011, Ray partnered with the Blind Pig to open Meat on the second floor of the Butchertown building, according to the suit.

While managing Meat, Ray wrote checks to himself, used the bar's business debit card and took cash from drawers, all for personal use, according to the suit.

Reached Tuesday, Ray said he hadn't seen the lawsuit and would have no comment.

The Blind Pig's owner, Joseph Frase, closed Meat last spring after Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control officials questioned whether the bar was inappropriately using the Blind Pig's liquor license, according to the attorney who represented the restaurant in the eviction case. The restaurant paid a fine to settle the ABC case, attorney Steve Porter said last fall.

The payroll and accounting for Meat went through the Blind Pig's legal entity, When Pigs Fly LLC, Porter said at the time.

In May 2013, SP Holdings bought the building and immediately "began to send increasingly harassing letters" to the Blind Pig and "refused to accept" rent the restaurant attempted to pay, the suit claims.

The suit accuses Ray and SP Holdings, jointly, of a number of wrong-doings including breach of contract and interference with business relationships. It also accuses Ray of breaking his fiduciary duties as the restaurant's business partner.

The suit asks for unspecified damages to be determined at a jury trial.

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