It didn’t take long for The Banks development, Cincinnati’s answer to Newport on the Levee across the Ohio River, to spill into the county courthouse. Just a few months after a group of three New Orleans-based dining and drinking establishments failed to open as scheduled, Banks landlord Riverbanks Renaissance Phase 1-A Owner LLC has filed suit to collect back rent and more than $200,000 in improvements.
The suit, filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court by Earl Messer and Dominick Gerace of Taft Stettinius & Hollister, names as defendants TWL LCN TB Cincinnati LLC (the corporate name for The Wine Loft wine bar and La Crepe Nanou restaurant) and Huey’s TB Cincinnati LLC (better known as Huey’s 24/7 Diner). It also names their parent company, Doyle Restaurant Group, which guaranteed the lease. Doyle is based in New Orleans.
The Banks announced exactly one year ago that The Wine Loft, La Crepe Nanou and Huey’s were coming. As agreed under the lease, Riverbanks paid $128,160 to TWL as a first installment toward its interior improvements. It paid $80,000 to Huey’s. For their part, TWL was supposed to start paying $17,644 a month in rent – Huey’s $11,110 per month – six months after they signed the lease. They were also supposed to submit their building plans and contribute toward The Banks’ operating and marketing funds. They were supposed to open by Oct. 7.