In a startling turn of events, BarVera owner Cameron Rector and his management team will no longer operate in Hertel Avenue food hall PK Eats. The decision is effective beginning Friday.
BarVera's staff of six bartenders may continue to work at PK Eats "until they find other employment," Rector said, as a provision of his contract says that the business name must remain on 1488 Hertel Ave. for 90 days. "They need jobs, and it's a brutal time of year."
Both in his Facebook statement and in a short interview, Rector didn't mince words in regard to the PK Eats owners, Paul Tsouflidis and Kevin Lin, who own Newbury Salads and Sun Cuisines in the food hall, respectively.
Rector claims the two were in "clear violation of the contract" he signed, which involved PK Eats renting the Vera name in a brand licensing agreement. The BarVera owner has been locked out of PK Eats for two weeks, he said.
"We no longer feel this collaboration serves our business or meets the standards our customers have come to expect," the Facebook post read. "We will be working with our attorneys to consider all legal remedies against PK Eats and its owners," the statement continued.
“At this time all we can share is that there is much more to this story, and when the facts come out, it will be clear that PK Eats operated in good faith based on the contractual terms in place,” said a spokesperson for PK Eats.
Before Rector opened his cocktail bar in PK Eats, he mentioned that the Vera brand would continue to grow around Buffalo, with a food concept to come in the future at an undetermined location. Likewise, Vera's statement points to a location opening in the future.
Rector previously ran Vera Pizzeria on Lexington Avenue before closing the bar-restaurant in the middle of December to focus on the North Buffalo project. While PK Eats held an official grand-opening party Jan. 11, it soft-opened before the turn of the year.
More details to come.