Caffe Avanti owners sue GLK Development over broken deal

Kelly Holleran Jun. 4, 2009, 7:50am

The owner of an O'Fallon coffee shop claims a Belleville building owner failed to renovate new space it was planning to lease, according to a complaint filed May 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The suit claims The Lebryk Company decided to open a second location for its Caffe Avanti coffee shop and entered into a lease with GLK Development on April 2, 2008.

In the agreement, Lebryk agreed to operate a restaurant at 208 East Main St., Suite 110, in Belleville and also agreed to cover expenses GLK would incur by building a build-out, according to the complaint.

"Pursuant to the terms of the Lease, Defendant was required to complete a build-out of the property and present the renovated space in a 'white box finish,'" the suit states.

In anticipation of opening its restaurant after the renovations were complete, Lebryk placed a "Coming Soon" sign in the window of the premises, the complaint says. In addition, it advertised the opening of its new store at its O'Fallon location.

However, GLK still had not made the renovations as of May 13, even though Lebryk made repeated demands for the space to be finished, Lebryk claims.

"Defendant has failed to offer any plausible explanation as to why the leased premises are not being renovated, as required by the Lease," the suit states.

A third party has even offered to buy the premises from GLK and promised to construct the requested build-out, but the company has refused to sell its property, according to the complaint.

Because GLK has refused to make the renovations, Lebryk says it has lost revenue by foregoing other opportunities to open a store at another location and that would have been earned if the restaurant had been opened and lost standing in the community by its perceived failure to open a second location.

Lebryk is seeking more than $50,000, plus attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Judy L. Cates and David I. Cates of The Cates Law Firm in Swansea will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-273.

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