BAC, restaurateur in court over contract dispute
Brewery Art Center Executive Director John Procaccini and Mom and Pop’s owner Doug Cramer met in court Thursday over a contract dispute regarding the Fridays at Third concert series.
The issue stems from 2009 when Cramer signed a $7,000 contract to participate in the concert series with The Firkin & Fox and Bella Fiore Wines. He still owes the BAC $2,483.33.
The BAC offered to reduce Cramer’s liability, but he refused the offer, resulting in Thursday’s small claims court hearing.
Cramer alleges Procaccini, whose BAC directs the concert series on behalf of the city, breached that contract by altering the location and size of the portable bars for the participating businesses despite a diagram that determined where the bars would be placed.
He said the BAC in turn owes him $4,500 because his business was diminished compared to previous downtown events.
Judge Myla Florence said, “There are many factors that affect sales from one year to the next, particularly in this dynamic economy.”
Procaccini said changes were made to the bars, but has argued they did not constitute a breach of contract and did not diminish Cramer’s business.
And while each business had space for a tent to serve alcohol, he said the BAC could not control what the businesses did on their own property, including The Firkin & Fox’s parking lot.
Cramer subpoenaed City Manager Larry Werner, one of Procaccini’s former employees and Tammy Westergard, the former deputy manager of the Office of Business Development, to testify at Thursday’s hearing.
Much of the questioning dealt with the nature of a meeting Cramer had with city officials, including Westergard, before agreeing to participate in the concert series.
Cramer, who did not submit a formal complaint last year, summoned Werner to the witness stand to ask him if he had expressed concern to Werner. Werner said Cramer did so while Werner was eating at Mom and Pop’s. Cramer added he did not want to create “waves” with the city while applying for redevelopment funds for his restaurant at the Carson Mall.
Florence said she will make a decision in about 10 days.