After issuing two stop-work orders, the Village of Westhampton Beach has decided to file a lawsuit against Buckhead's Grill, a new eatery that was slated to open in August in the former Finn's site on Old Riverhead Road that the village said has done work on the site without proper permits.
According to Building and Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan, the suit (attached as a PDF document) was filed in Suffolk County Supreme Court earlier this week and requests that the courts revoke the restaurant's licence and that two awnings that were built without permits be removed.
Also named in the suit EK Riverhead Partners, LCC, which is leasing the building to Buckhead's.
Trouble at the grill started in July, according to Houlihan, when a man, who refers to himself under the pseudonym Butch Bales started renovating the inside and outside of the building.
The first stop work order was issued after the inside was gutted to make room for more seating and an improved bar area without a permit. The second came weeks later when the building department discovered that an awning in the back of the building was torn down to make room for food preparation and a canopy before obtaining the proper permits.
According to the suit, work continued at the site even after the stop work orders were issued.
Bales did appear before the planning board in August, however, Houlihan said nothing was settled.
Once complete, the restaurant, Bales told Patch in July, would be labeled as an international barbecue, featuring "radically chic barbecue."
Bales, whose real name is Leopold Balestrieri, said he has owned restaurants across the south.
A google search reveals that his former restaurants have received mixed reviews and another that Balestrieri was charged in Palm Beach County Florida in 2010 for writing a bad check.
Balestrieri did not immediately return calls for comment.
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