WICHITA — Contractor Larry Cook has filed a mechanics lien against YO-B owner Nabil Bacha for $87,882.
On the advice of his attorney, Cook says he won't comment, but Bacha has plenty to say.
"The construction was embarrassing," Bacha says of Cook's work on the new Old Town Square restaurant, which opened in February in the former Luca Italian Kitchen space, which previously was Uptown Bistro.
Bacha, who also owns Cafe Bel Ami, says it took Cook "seven months to do four walls" during which time he saw three other area restaurants either renovated or opened.
"I don't know why that's such a hard time for him to do. Maybe he should not be in the construction business to start with."
Cook's attorney, Frank Ojile, doesn't address specific claims by Bacha, but he says that "basically, we deny his claims."
"My client hasn't been paid, and we filed the mechanics lien, and I probably won't have further comment ... because of possible future litigation."
Bacha says renovating the space for YO-B, a burger and yogurt restaurant, was supposed to be an $80,000 project and was to be completed by Oct. 15.
Cook "never delivered," Bacha says.
"I had to have him redo so many things that were wrong," he says. "Nothing was going right."
Bacha says he paid almost $79,000 and then Cook told him he needed more money. Bacha says Cook kept changing the amount.
Bacha says he pointed out issues with the bill, and he says Cook told him he would take care of them. Instead, Bacha says, he got the lien.
"All of a sudden, that's what I saw."
In addition to saying he doesn't owe Cook anything more, Bacha says he lost a lot of money due to the delays, and he's left disillusioned with the process.
"I'm professional. I have never been through something like this."