Appeals court sides with inn’s owners

Too much bar, not enough restaurant.

That was the opinion of the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District, which earlier this month backed up a trial court judge’s award of $244,000 for the owner of the Cheshire Lodge and attached Cheshire Inn restaurant.

The former restaurant operator didn’t provide the room service and breakfast outlined in its lease, which led to slipping occupancy rates at the lodge and profit losses, according to the appeals court opinion. A focus on liquor sales also led to problems with the lodge, near Forest Park in St. Louis.

Former restaurant operator L&S Properties Inc. had claimed the Cheshire Lodge was in poor condition and evidence on estimated profit losses was speculation.

“We were very pleased to see the court was not swayed by an erroneous argument of opposing counsel,” said Noel Sevastianos of Sevastianos & Associates, who represented the owner of the Cheshire, Apted-Hulling Inc.

The Armstrong Teasdale attorney representing L&S didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

The three-judge panel overturned an award for $11,000 for a late sewer bill, noting the bill had been paid. Sevastianos said that every penny he requested at trial for his client was granted and part of the judgment on appeal. Accordingly, he was very pleased that the appellate court unanimously upheld $233,000 of that $244,000 judgment.

The Cheshire Inn restaurant remained vacant after St. Louis City Circuit Court Judge David Dowd rescinded L&S’s lease. Lester Miller had the property under contract but dropped his offer to purchase the Cheshire, known for its themed suites and Tudor exterior. Bob O’Loughlin also worked on a deal to buy the restaurant and lease and manage the hotel, according to an article in the St. Louis Business Journal.