by Dan Gibson
Yesterday, when we ran a post on the Range about the imminent closing of V Modern Thai downtown, I sort of expected that there might be some residual unpleasantness...the owner seemed to be avoiding us, every time we called the restaurant, we were hung up on, there were some rumors about chaos with the restaurant's management, etc. etc.
However, I wasn't particularly expecting this:
First off, I think any sane person would suspect this, but what incentive would we have to "cause harm" to a local restaurant (or any local business)? As someone who just went through a stretch of employment-related uncertainty, that's not the sort of thing I'd wish on anyone, but also, it's probably in our best interest to be thought of as pro-local business and not getting into some weird quest to take one down.
On a related note, no one from V (other than Mr. Mennes, who spent most of our call threatening me) answered our emails, would talk to us on the phone or seemingly made any effort to get in touch with us whatsoever. So, if there was an inaccuracy, wouldn't some sort of attempt to set the record straight be the way to go?
More importantly, there's no particular reason to believe that V will be open on May 12, partially because it's a little surprising they're open now.
On April 8, Holualoa, the landlord for V's space at 1 E. Congress, Suite 200, filed to have the restaurant evicted from its space for a breach of lease due to V owing $30,854.87 in back rent (plus late charges) as of that date. On April 11, Holualoa presented a written eviction notice to V's owner, but when Holualoa attempted to lock the restaurant's owners out, they refused to leave the premises. On the same day, V's owners tried to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which Holualoa fought in court due to a technicality in a motion on April 16 about needing a lawyer to file. Notably, in that filing, Holualoa's representative writes that:
Landlord sought to enforce its remedies under the Lease by terminating Debtor's right of possession and locking Debtor out of the premises. However, Debtor refused to vacate the premises and a representative or agent of Debtor remains on the premises at all times to prevent the lockout. This continued occupation of the Premises is an additional breach of the Lease.
The next hearing on that front is Monday, May 12 at 3 p.m. where the landlord is going to try again to get V Modern Thai locked out. And, yes, if Holualoa prevails, and odds are they will, it'll be a bummer that a local restaurant couldn't make it work.
It's probably way more complicated than even these court filings indicate and I'm personally not the type to necessarily take the landlord's side in a property dispute, although it's not like Vila Jarrell, the owner, gave us the opportunity to tell her side of the story, even though we tried again today to get in touch with her.
However, what I don't think is fair is the attempt to defame Henry or our publication in an effort to avoid what seems like an inevitable end for V Modern Thai on Congress.
We'll see what happens on Monday, but in the meantime, we stand by our story.