The owner of Boardwalk Waffles has been sued 40 times.  He still hasn't paid all the bills.

The proprietor of Boardwalk Waffles has been sued 40 instances. He nonetheless hasn’t paid all of the payments.

MAPLEWOOD Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream is understood for its ice cream served on Belgian waffles, its milkshakes and, more and more, its homeowners’ money owed.

Eric Okay. Moore has been on the heart of greater than 40 lawsuits that every one mentioned the identical factor: He did not pay his payments.

Recordsdata and interviews along with his collectors inform the same story: Moore promised to pay his money owed however typically didn’t, or paid little or no. Generally the events agreed. However the judges have dominated in opposition to Moore at the very least three dozen instances.

Even then, he repeatedly did not make required funds, in keeping with collectors and court docket data.

Left within the wake are householders, household companies and even family, who’ve at instances been compelled to chop into goals and retirement financial savings to make up for holes of their funds.

Individuals are additionally studying…

David McCreery owns a Grand Boulevard storefront in Tower Grove South. Moore signed a lease there final June, with plans to open one other Boardwalk. However his lease checks have largely bounced and he now owes the McCreerys firm hundreds of {dollars}, in keeping with a court docket submitting.

We constructed this enterprise and we liked it, McCreery mentioned. And he destroyed it.

In an interview, Moore acknowledged the money owed. He mentioned many of the payments racked up greater than 5 years in the past when he was a heavy drinker. Choices had been generally not the most effective, he mentioned of that point.

I personal my errors, Moore mentioned.

He says he is sober now, attempting to make Boardwalk a hit, and desires to repay his money owed. His downside now, he mentioned, is that he is been attempting to broaden too rapidly.

In a single sense, Moore’s story will not be uncommon. Consultants say that almost 2 million American companies go bankrupt every year, and the homeowners of some 600,000 of them stroll away with out paying their money owed.

The circumstances in opposition to Moore fluctuate in geography and scope, from residence renovations in St. Louis to a shopping center he co-owned in Fayetteville, Georgia. They embrace jobs that Moore’s basic contractor firm by no means completed, restaurant gear that he by no means paid for, plus tons of of hundreds of {dollars} in unpaid lease, bounced checks and private loans.

And so they return at the very least 15 years.

All the time one step forward

The fits had been piling in opposition to Moore lengthy earlier than Boardwalk opened. For instance:

In 2007, Tower Grove home-owner Peter Newcomb mentioned he paid Moore Normal Contracting for poorly completed or by no means accomplished renovations. Moore didn’t go to court docket, and the choose awarded the Newcombs greater than $70,000. However the Newcombs by no means noticed it.

Eric Moore’s title is a grimy phrase in our household, Newcomb mentioned. My daughter says we should always go to her ice cream store, and when they need us to pay, we are saying, That is about Eric. He owes us.

In 2010, the homeowners of the Tin Can Tavern and Grille in Columbia alleged that Moore, his then-wife, Laurie Bowman Moore, and their former firm, Can O Beer, agreed to function the Tin Can and pay its homeowners $ 59,000 however they by no means paid. the invoice. A choose awarded Tin Can greater than $525,000.

I have never seen a cent, former Tin Can co-owner Mike Headrick mentioned. I’ll by no means see that cash and I’ve stopped losing my time and power in that unfavourable ambiance.

Laurie Bowman Moore, now Laurie Bowman, declined to remark.

In 2012, Nancy and Richard Summers, of City and Nation, gained a $466,000 judgment in opposition to the Moores. Bowman Moore was a good friend of Summers’ daughter and the Moores had borrowed $250,000 from the couple for an actual property deal.

The Moores agreed to repay $300,000 in 120 days, or bear curiosity at 28% a yr, in keeping with a lawsuit the Summers filed in 2011. The deal went badly, and the Moores by no means repaid the debt.

In 2016, Bowman Moore’s aunt, Jo Anne Bowman, gained a judgment over $188,000 in opposition to the Moores. The Moores had requested Bowman to withdraw $105,000 from her retirement account and lend it to them at 20 p.c curiosity. They agreed to repay $80,000 of her cash over 60 days, so she may return it to her retirement account with out penalty.

Eighteen months later, the Moores had repaid simply $5,900. Bowman sued, the Moores failed to look in court docket, and a choose awarded the unique mortgage plus compound curiosity at 30% each year, below the phrases of the unique settlement.

One among Moore’s attorneys additionally sued him. Mitchell D. Jacobs, who requested to withdraw from at the very least 5 circumstances in December 2017, sued Moore in 2018 for greater than $7,200 in unpaid payments and curiosity and once more in 2022 for greater than $1,800. Jacobs is now representing Moore once more. He declined to touch upon this story, citing confidentiality guidelines.

I am virtually giving him credit score for his stage of corruption, mentioned home-owner Arthur Wilhelm, who sued Moore’s basic contractor agency in 2006 alleging his work led to just about $23,000 in harm to his property. residence in St. Louis.

He is simply residing his life worry-free, not afraid of something, Wilhelm mentioned. He’s at all times one step forward of everybody.

We lastly made him pay

Boardwalk sells milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches on Belgian waffles, and ice cream served in bowls and waffle cones. There are actually three areas within the space: on Manchester Street in Maplewood, on Telegraph Street in Oakville and on Russell Boulevard in Soulard.

He plans shops on Grand Boulevard within the Grand Heart Arts District and on Grand within the South Grand Enterprise District.

The homeowners of all 5 areas, together with the enlargement websites, have sued him.

It has even been sued, twice, at its first location, 7326B Manchester Street in Maplewood, simply down the street from the present nook store. The store was previously residence to a different ice cream parlor, and in 2016, Moore agreed to pay that store’s proprietor, Michael S. McLaughlin, greater than $22,000 for freezers, indicators and different fixtures.

When Boardwalk did not pay the cash, McLaughlin’s lawyer demanded cost in full. Moore wrote a verify for $2,500. He bounced.

The Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream retailer window in Maplewood is seen on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

David Carson, Put up-Cargo

Then, in 2019, 7326B proprietor Jerry Gibbs additionally filed a lawsuit. He obtained a $4,800 judgment and a promise from Moore to vacate the premises.

However Moore was within the means of shifting his retailer to its present location down the block, and mentioned delays making ready the brand new retailer prevented him from paying for it or shifting, mentioned Gibbs’ lawyer Todd Sivia. .

We lastly acquired him to pay it, Silvia mentioned. She stop and went away.

Final June, Moore signed a lease to open a walkway in Tower Grove South, on a website beforehand occupied by Tower Grove Creamery.

His $7,000 safety deposit verify bounced, in keeping with a lawsuit filed by McCreery and his spouse, Beulah Ann. Moore then gave them a cashier’s verify for a similar quantity and a stack of 12 postdated checks to cowl every month of the lease.

To this point, all however one have additionally rebounded, McCreerys lawyer Matthew Ghio mentioned.

Passing dangerous checks for greater than $750 is a Class E felony in Missouri, punishable by as much as 4 years in jail or jail, or a high-quality of as much as $10,000. Nonetheless, a spokesman for St. Louis County Lawyer Wesley Bell mentioned such circumstances are not often prosecuted as a result of they require intent to defraud, which might be tough to show.

McCreerys’ lawsuit seeks to be paid double the quantity Moore owes in lease plus different bills, or $37,000 as of December. The McCreerys have somebody lined as much as lease the area, however the tenant cannot transfer in till Moore strikes out, Ghio mentioned.

He mentioned a lease transfers the appropriate to personal area from the owner to the tenant. The one methods to finish that proper are both by the tenant’s voluntary settlement to depart, which Moore didn’t, or by a court docket order.

In the meantime, the store is not open but and Moore is utilizing the area to retailer ice cream, McCreery mentioned.

The McCreerys supplied to drop the lawsuit and pay him $5,000 to stroll away. Moore ignored the supply, McCreery mentioned.

McCreery is 82, his spouse 79. They will get by with none cash, though it will assist, he mentioned. Of better concern to them is the harm the empty retailer is doing to the status and vibe of the South Grand enterprise district, of which they’re passionate supporters.

Moore mentioned, “I’ve no downside with the McCreerys.” I believe they’re very nice folks. Hopefully we are able to attain some form of settlement earlier than the subsequent court docket date. It is hazy, however I’ve hopes.

Ready for summer season

The opposite three homeowners have additionally sued:

In June, the proprietor of the Boardwalks Telegraph Street, Oakville, retailer mentioned Moore owed greater than $28,000 in lease, late charges, taxes and different expenses. In November, Moore signed a consent settlement to pay greater than $31,000 in installments till the stability is paid.

In November, proprietor Grand Heart Inc. sued the still-open Boardwalks retailer in Grand Heart, arguing for the second time that Moore had gone months with out paying lease.

In January, Maple King Properties, which owns the constructing on the present Boardwalks location in Maplewood, additionally filed a second lawsuit. The corporate had already secured a consent judgment for greater than $34,000 and an settlement that Boardwalk would vacate the premises. This time they claimed Maple King owed $14,500.

The choose issued a default judgment for greater than $36,000 and possession of the property.

Moore mentioned he is now paying the lease he owes in any respect three of these areas. A Grand Heart lawyer has confirmed that Moore is at present on lease. Maple King made no transfer to evict him; solicitors for Telegraph Street’s homeowners didn’t reply to repeated questions.

Nonetheless, the homeowners of 1001 Russell Boulevard in Soulard sued Moore final month for greater than $75,000 in lease, utilities, late charges and different bills. He hasn’t paid the lease and hasn’t left the premises, they declare.

The eviction course of is ongoing, mentioned Alexander Kuehling, 1001 Russell’s lawyer.

In an interview on Wednesday, Moore mentioned his monetary woes now stem largely from increasing too quickly as enterprise struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic: His present Manchester Street retailer opened in ‘August 2020; the Telegraph Street location opened in September 2021; the Soulard headquarters in March 2022.

He mentioned he did not have the monetary backing to broaden. However the alternatives to open shops in Grand Heart and Tower Grove appeared too good to cross up.

Now, although, he mentioned he is making progress on paying his money owed: We’re attempting to fix these ties with a few landowners, he mentioned.

And he is trying ahead to summer season, by far the busiest season for ice cream outlets. The additional money will assist repay his money owed, he mentioned she.

In the meantime, work is progressing on the Grand Heart website.

An indication within the window says a Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream retailer can be opening there quickly.

With each ice cream sandwiches and made-from-scratch frozen novelties, Sugarwitch will hit the spot on any heat day.

Author: ZeroToHero

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