Business owner considers legal action over leaking roof

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A restaurant owner may take legal action after closing its Eastown location due to a leaking roof.  

Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ & Catering closed earlier this week after just a few months of business, citing “structural issues at our leased space.”

The restaurant’s owner, Mark Nieuwenhuis said the roof has been leaking since before he signed the lease.

Therefore, Nieuwenhuis made sure there was specific language in the contract that holds the building’s owners responsible for fixing and maintaining the structure.  

“One of the first pages of the lease was to make sure the roof was fixed prior to taking tenancy of the space,” Nieuwenhuis said. “That’s the only reason I signed the lease in the first place.” 

Nieuwenhuis showed News 8 the official lease agreement.

However, he asked News 8 not publish the contract or photos and videos of the flooding due to potential litigation.  

The lease agreement for the property at 1450 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids names Pasta Provisionaires LLC, and Ryan Raredon as the owners.  

After several attempts to get in contact with Raredon, he sent an email response stating, “We will have comment at the appropriate time.” 

According to Nieuwenhuis, Raredon also owns and runs the neighboring shop, The Local Epicurean. 

In the eight and a half months since signing the lease, Nieuwenhuis said he’s brought the leaking roof to the attention of the owners several times.

He said they had made efforts to repair the roof, but there has been no permanent fix.  

“It was kind of just one excuse after another with why they haven’t been able to fix it, and most of it was due to they can’t find roofers to do it,” Nieuwenhuis said.

Nieuwenhuis had hoped it wouldn’t come to this but said he’s running out of options and money.  

“At the end of the day, I didn’t invest over $150,000 to not be open,” he said. “That’s a hard hit on me, on my family, not a lot of people can say they have $150,000 to invest, let alone lose, or have the risk of losing, every time it rains.” 

Nieuwenhuis sent a demand letter to the building’s owners, which they responded to Friday afternoon.

Without getting into the details, Nieuwenhuis told News 8 he and his attorneys will meet with the building owners on Monday.  

In the meantime, Kelvin & Co. isn’t giving up on Eastown or Grand Rapids.

They have already been exploring potential new locations in the same neighborhood.  

Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ & Catering’s Kalamazoo location remains open.

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