After initially saying the Blind Pig would close Saturday after losing an eviction case with its landlord—SPH Holdings, headed by Meat owner Peyton Ray—the Butchertown gastropub's chef/owner Joseph Frase later told the Louisville Courier-Journal, that SP Holdings said it might propose a possible solution.
As of 10:50 a.m. today, however, Frase is yet to hear from Ray or SP Holdings.
"We wish The Blind Pig success in its future endeavors, but due to non-payment of rent, SP Holdings, LLC has terminated the tenancy with generous notice," was the statement WAVE 3 received from SP Holdings, which otherwise refused to comment. SP Holdings started proceedings to evict the Blind Pig just 34 days after buying the building. Yesterday the Blind Pig's attorney, Steve Porter, told WDRB 41 that SP Holdings had "refused to accept rent checks for June through August in a bid to evict the restaurant."
"Now, the restaurant must follow a court order to close after the weekend, leaving customers upset and about 25 employees without a job," WAVE 3 reports.
Porter's, numerous phone calls and emails to SP Holdings's attorney, James Proud, were not returned, according to WAVE 3.
Should the Blind Pig close Saturday, that leaves SP Holdings's property at 1076 E. Washington St vacant, a major setback for the development of the Butchertown neighborhood.
Here's the rest of the backstory—again—about what's happening with these two popular Butchertown spots (it's largely a copy and paste from earlier stories):
In early April, Meat abruptly announced its temporary closure. A week later, Meat's owner Peyton Ray said a dispute with the Blind Pig involving liquor licensing was the reason. Meat had been "depending on the liquor license of the guys downstairs," Ray said at the time. "Unfortunately, our relations with the guys downstairs deteriorated so much and so quickly that they finally, the other day, just turned off the lights, locked the doors, turned off the water." (Frase disagreed with Ray's allegations but declined to comment further at the time.)
Meat then applied for its own liquor license. Back in April, Ray had said he'd "probably find out more on the status of our [alcohol] license application" on the date of the Blind Pig's hearing—which had been scheduled for May 16, but was later rescheduled to Aug. 13 and then pushed back again to Sept. 30. "We're fully planning on reopening, we just don't know when that's going to be—it could be at the latest, July," Ray said at the time Meat closed.
After the Blind Pig agreed to pay $2,500 in fines to resolve the case, however, Ray did not respond to a request for comment about Meat's status.
In another twist to the story, Ray purchased the building that Meat shares with the Blind Pig, in May, a transaction that surprised Frase.
34 days after buying the building, Ray's company, SP Holdings, initiated eviction proceedings against the Blind Pig, citing one month of unpaid rent. The Blind Pig's attorney later countered that the Blind Pig was trying to pay its rent, but Ray was refusing to cash the checks.
On Oct. 14, the Blind Pig lost its eviction case and Frase announced the restaurant would close the following Saturday. He later said that Ray's attorney mentioned a possible solution to the dispute, but never offered one.
·All Meat Coverage [~ELOU~]
·All Blind Pig Coverage [~ELOU~]
[Photos: Courtesy Blind Pig and Zach Everson]