Following the Black Water Cafe’s seemingly abrupt closure last week, I finally got around to wandering off my beat a bit and seeing if there were any court filings that might shed some light on the death of the beloved caffeinating hole.
I found a law suit filed in December that starts to explicate a dispute in which Black Water was embroiled one side with its landlord and on the other side with its investors.
Investors Douglas Knudson and his wife Marilyn Ryan are suing Black Water and proprietor Rachel Moreshead for $44,000.
According to their complaint: they had previously invested money, then had a dispute, then settled their dispute with written agreement.
Under the agreement, Black Water had to make timely payments to the investors and to its landlord, keep business assets fully insured and keep the business solvent.
“Black Water Cafe, Inc. and Ms. Moreshead have had a history of missed or late payments, failure to keep insurance in effect and other failures to comply with the agreement,” the complaint states. (Moreshead disputes many of the claims made against her in her answer to the complaint.)
The answer to the complaint does provide some clues about the nature of the ongoing dispute(s).
In its response, Black Water says it and Moreshead have “never been late in their obligations to Plaintiffs.” It goes on the say that the investors failed to provide a “fully executed” copy of the document on which they’re claiming the right to approve Black Water’s lease.
Black Water says it was not in default when the suit was filed and moreover “allege that any claimed defaults were due to the action of third parties, to wit: Diane Hansen and/or Two Ones, L.L.C.” — the cafe’s landlord.
For those who want to drill down, there are little back and forths about who signed what when and what contract might hold sway over what other contract.
The electronic case file also includes a list of witnesses Black Water intends to call (just Moreshead) and a list of pertinent documents it plans to cite.
According to LINX, a settlement conference is scheduled for Oct. 10 and, failing that, a trial is set for Nov. 16.