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Sparta Street Kitchen goes out of business after lawsuit filed
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A dispute between two local restaurants took an unexpected turn Tuesday when it was revealed Sparta Street Kitchen has gone out of business.
When contacted Tuesday afternoon, property owner Deborah Foutch declined to comment, but she did confirm the restaurant has closed and would not be reopening.
The chain of events which led up to the closing started last week when the owners of Billy’s Restaurant in Newtown filed a lawsuit against Billy Foutch for violating a two-year, no-compete clause. Foutch was the longtime owner and operator of Billy’s Restaurant before selling it on Sept. 30, 2013 to Darryl Bouldin and Danny Vickers.
The 16-page contract pertaining to the sale of Billy’s Restaurant included Section 7.3, which was a no-compete clause. The two parties were about six months into the two-year agreement.
In filing the lawsuit against Foutch, the new owners of Billy’s Restaurant sought a temporary injunction against him to keep him off the premises of Sparta Street Kitchen, a restaurant owned by his daughter, Deborah Foutch, and managed by his grandson.
That hearing was supposed to be Tuesday before Judge Bart Stanley, but it was postponed when it was announced Sparta Street Kitchen had closed. The injunction hearing is now scheduled to be heard before Manchester Judge Craig Johnson this Monday.
When contacted Tuesday, attorney Ryan J. Moore, who represents Bouldin and Vickers, said it was not their intention for Sparta Street Kitchen to close.
“All we’re asking is for Mr. Foutch to abide by the terms of the asset purchase agreement which he signed on Sept. 30, 2013,” said Moore. “That agreement has a no-compete clause and he violated it.”
Moore pointed out the no-compete clause goes much further than mere ownership and pertains to engaging in the operations of another similar restaurant. He also contends Mr. Foutch’s actions can be directly linked to declining sales at Billy’s Restaurant.
According to Warren County property tax records, Deborah Foutch purchased the property at 1127 Sparta Street on March 14. It opened as Sparta Street Kitchen on March 17. The restaurant had previously been Wilma Jean’s Kitchen.