Jerseys Grill and Bar owner owes more than $77,000 to building owners

WICHITA — The owners of the building that is home to Jerseys Grill and Bar have filed a forcible detainer petition seeking eviction against the owner and previous partners in the business.

According to the petition, Mitch Lyon, Kefford Vincent and Jordan Allbright owe more than $77,000 in rent and related charges on the business, which opened in late 2011 in the former Johnny Carino’s space near K-96 and Webb Road.

“Actually, we’ve already got it worked out, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been taken off of there,” says Lyon, who says he’s the sole owner of the business.

He says he fired Vincent two weeks after the business opened and fired Allbright more than a year ago. Neither Vincent nor Allbright could be reached for comment.

There was a hearing regarding the petition on Aug. 14. Lyon didn’t attend.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” he says. “I didn’t know.”

Lyon says the building’s majority owner, Warren Daniel, is a champion of Jerseys.

“Warren . . . has been a hero of ours,” Lyon says. “He voted not to do what these other people did.”

Daniel has Transamerica Equity Corp. in Scottsdale, Ariz., and says that’s the largest owner in the Jerseys building.

Speaking on behalf of himself, and not the large group of other owners, Daniel says he considers the situation almost resolved.

“Basically, we’re trying to negotiate a longer-term lease,” he says. “Everything’s been negotiated and agreed on.”

He thinks the negotiations didn’t happen quickly enough to prevent the petition.

“I guess the time ran out on negotiations, is what triggered that,” Daniel says. “It’s squared away.”

Lyon says he negotiated to reduce his rent from about $10,000 a month to $5,000 a month.

“We just revisit every quarter,” he says.

Lyon says he’s added an outdoor bar and volleyball courts since Jerseys opened.

“The business is doing phenomenal,” he says.

He says he needed the rent slashed because Jerseys had a tough first year and was in the red the entire time.

“Now we’re to a break-even point,” he says. “It’s phenomenal. A lot of hard work.”

The attorney for the owners who filed the petition declined to comment.

Lyon says he thinks the situation will be fine and that Jerseys will be fine.

“I think it’s a good restaurant for Wichita, Kansas.”

Daniel agrees and says he will “look forward to more food, fun and sports.”