Not only will there not be a Lee's Creamery in the Heights, but a $1 million lawsuit alleges the players behind the eatery once proposed for 19th Street had breached its lease agreement.
According to an Eater report, the building owner at 250 West 19th St. in the Heights is suing Cherry Pie Hospitality and a limited liability company called 4 Boys and A Girl. According to the suit, which was filed in May, 4 Boys and A Girl violated portions of the lease (of which Cherry Pie was a guarantor), including not completing construction and not paying a contractor on time, and not opening on or before May 1, then not paying for May rent.
Originally Lee Ellis, who co-founded Cherry Pie Hospitality in 2016, was going to open an ice cream spinoff of Lee's Chicken & Donuts in the Heights. Ellis left Cherry Pie Hospitality in March, reported the Houston Chronicle, but he's involved with 4 Boys and a Girl, which entered into the lease around March 7, 2017, says the lawsuit. The suit says 4 Boys and A Girl is doing business as Lee's Creamery and Petite Sweets (Petite Sweets, a Cherry Pie concept, serves Lee's Creamery ice cream).
On April 6, says the suit, the building owner received a notice of lien from contractor ABD Commercial Construction, claiming that it hadn't been paid for recent work from 4 Boys and A Girl. According to the suit, that lien wasn't removed and remained as of the May 14 filing.
Cherry Pie Hospitality with 4 Boys and A Girl, in a June 26 response, denied the allegations in the lawsuit, saying the lease was "ambiguous" and that the owner "failed to mitigate damages."
A spokesperson for Cherry Pie Hospitality confirmed that the company is "no longer associated" with Lee's Creamery, but wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.
This is the second time in a week Cherry Pie has been in the news. On Thursday its Star Fish and Pi Pizza locations were closed because of a bank issue, according to a spokesperson. Both restaurants were back open on Friday.