• November 26, 2014

Black Meg 43 pays off $6,000 Cove debt

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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:53 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

COPPERAS COVE — Black Meg 43 on Friday paid a more than $6,000 bill owed to the city for breaking its lease contract at the Hills of Cove golf course.

“The city has been good to us, and we obviously have a lot of gratitude to them,” said Allan Vasseur, the chief financial officer for Black Meg 43.

The city confirmed Vasseur paid for breaking the contract Friday afternoon, just days after the issue was discussed by the Copperas Cove City Council.

According to city documents, Black Meg entered into a contract in October 2011 to operate a food stand at the golf course.

“They vacated in April and the lease didn’t expire until October,” City Manager Andrea Gardner said.

On Tuesday, Gardner asked the council how to handle obtaining the funds owed because of the broken contract. She was instructed to seek the money in full and pursue legal action if needed.

“We don’t want to fight it, but we do feel like it is circumstances that weren’t fair to us,” Vasseur said.

The contract called for $600 a month in rent to operate the facility, according to Vasseur and city documents.

Vasseur said, however, that a verbal agreement for 10 percent of Black Meg’s sales at the site was made after the contract was approved in 2011 and the contract was supposed to be changed.

Gardner said she heard Black Meg’s side of the story about a verbal agreement, but those who supposedly offered the deal didn’t have the authority to do so. Black Meg should have sought an audience with the council, she added.

While operating at the golf course, Black Meg paid a percentage of its sales, but after six months, it started to get billed the $600 lease, Vasseur said.

“Between food cost and the 10 percent that we paid, we weren’t making money,” Vasseur said.

Traffic was slow at the golf course restaurant site, though several tournaments brought in big crowds, he said. Another problem with the golf course was a lack of power to operate commercial equipment such as fryers.

Gardner said Black Meg wasn’t the only tenant to have problems since leasing began in 2009.

The first tenant defaulted on its lease, she said. The second vendor made a profit before Black Meg came in. And the fourth tenant seems to be doing well, too, she said.

Despite not making money at the course, Vasseur said vacating the property was a missed opportunity by the city and Black Meg.

Before it was billed for the monthly rent, Vasseur said Black Meg was about to open a Sunday morning brunch at the site.

“The brunch would have been something that was not seen in this area, or at least in Copperas Cove. We thought if we could do this every Sunday, then that alone would make it profitable.”

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