When Booty's Street Food expansion Ursa Major shockingly shuttered last week after just four months of operation in The Paramount, many folks pointed the blame at a exclusive ticketing reservation system, but could big, nasty sewer problems also be to blame? The Times-Pic reports that owners Kevin Farrell and Nick Vivion have filed a lawsuit against The Paramount's developers Domain and South Market District over "shoddy plumbing" that made employees sick and customers disgusted, ultimately leading to the restaurant's closure.
According to the lawsuit, Farrell and Vivion first noticed the smell a week before opening in late May and by June 11, The Paramount's lobby and some first floor apartments allegedly also stunk. Domain then brought in engineers PMC Mechanical to figure out what was happening and test the air:
PMC Mechanical Co., at first blamed the smell on Ursa Major's restaurant plumbing design and its high-efficiency toilets.... But the restaurant owners later learned an improperly installed underground pipe was sagging, trapping water and sewage. Heavy equipment had driven over exposed plumbing during construction and crushed the pipe.
Ursa Major also claims that PMC tested the air while leaving the doors open, allegedly to skew results, but still found 'nearly double the amount of methane normally found in the air.' The restaurant was then forced close 11 times while developers attempted to repair the pipe and eventually replace the entire plumbing system. Then this happened:
On June 30, Ursa Major hosted the New Orleans Concierge Association, a group of representatives from 30 hotels in the city, to market the restaurant. During the event, the plumbing broke and the restaurant against filled up with a sulfur-smelling sewer gas.
To compensate for the 'nightmare experience', Ursa Major owners are seeking "the lease to be dissolved and to be compensated for costs of developing the restaurant, lost profits and damage to the restaurant's reputation."