Spring bar struggling to open after contractor leaves them high and dry, owners say

Mycah Hatfield Image
Friday, June 30, 2023
Bar struggles to open after owners say contractor left them hanging
Steve and Alicia Phillips say they are still working to open Hero's Bar & Grill in Spring despite hiring a contractor who allegedly left them hanging.

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A bar in Spring is fighting to open its doors to the public for the first time after the owners say a contractor took their money but did not finish the work.

Steve and Alicia Phillips had the idea to open a bar geared toward veterans and first responders.

Steve is a marine veteran, and Alicia's father was in the army.

"We just wanted to give back to the community the best way we can and give them a place to come and just feel like they have an escape," Steve said. "You know, if something's bothering them, they can come in and just relax and talk to people of like mind and like issues."

Alicia's mother came up with the name "Hero's Bar & Grill" prior to her passing. The couple said she gave them money to make their dream a reality.

They rented a space in a strip center at 3301 Louetta Road in Spring 2021 and hired B&CC Services LLC to serve as their contractor.

The couple signed a contract that reads, "the contractor will provide the following services (collectively, the "Services"): TURN KEY, COMPLETE BUILD OUT OF HERO'S BAR & GRILL."

It goes on to list various items that would not be included in the contract, including refrigeration and freezing equipment, kitchen equipment, utensils, furniture, signage, decor, and more.

The total agreed-upon amount to build out the space was $210,900.

The Phillips said work started in September 2021, and they planned for the bar to open in February 2022.

"The problem was that everything started coming in as change orders, which means that doesn't come off of that $210,000," Alicia said. "It's extra. It was just one, after another, after another, after another."

Invoices titled "C/O (change order) & Exclusions" show charges for services or items the Phillips thought should be included.

On Dec. 8, the couple was sent a $10,450 bill for 11 sinks and plumbing drains. The company also invoiced them $495 for office supplies and "petty cash on hand."

B&CC Services sent them an invoice for a grease trap line installation for $6,950 on Jan. 21.

On Mar. 10, they were sent an invoice for $2,250 for a tankless water heater.

The next day, they were billed $5,200 for "interior ceiling paint, prime & prep job site with tape & plastic covering-bar/dining area."

Records kept by the Phillips show they paid more than $250,000 in smaller increments.

It was mid-March when Alicia said she questioned the contractor about all the additional charges. She said they stopped hearing from him shortly after.

The Phillips were left with a space that was nowhere near operational, with little money left.

"I told him, I said, 'I'm not paying you any more money until we sit down and figure this out because everything's a change order,'" Alicia said. "'We don't have an endless supply of money.'"

Steve Phillips said he questioned the contractor after his wife's conversation and was told, "I don't have any more money. I'm broke."

They did not receive many of the services or equipment they paid for. Alicia Phillips said they only received toilets and air conditioning units that were not installed.

"We've got money going out, but you don't got any money coming in, and then you're just sitting on this and my rent on it, insurance," Steve Phillips said.

The bar ended up being named in a lawsuit for an unpaid bill for equipment that they said they had already paid the contractor for. They settled with the company and said they paid a second time for the equipment to settle the bill.

Meanwhile, they owed $6,000 a month in rent on the space.

"I told him we had to go get jobs and try again," Alicia Phillips said.

"I couldn't bring myself to walk away from what I knew was going to be an amazing thing," Steve Phillips said. "We did everything possible to keep it going. I mean, we were days from just completely being destitute, and that's when Daniel came in."

The couple gave up half of their business to get it moving closer to opening.

Currently, they have a bar that is close to being finished but is not done yet.

They are hoping to get the final inspections and finishing touches on the bar to open in July.

"It'll be a very proud moment because there will have been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into this place."

The couple said they have learned a lot through the process.

Robert Williams, the owner of B&CC Services LLC, told ABC13 over the phone that it was the Phillips who stopped responding to him. He said they asked for upgrades that were not included in the contract, which led to the change orders. Williams also said the Phillips ran out of money.

Court records in Harris County show BCC Services, which lists Williams as the owner and uses the same invoices as Hero's Bar & Grill, was sued in December 2021 by the Durango Creek Property Owners Association for unfinished work.

According to court records, a default judgment was signed after no one appeared in court on behalf of BCC Services, and the property owners association was awarded more than $20,000.

The Phillips have not filed a civil suit against the contractor because they said they do not have the money. They are putting their funding into the bar to get it operational and hope to sue in the near future.

"We couldn't just spend the money moving backward," Steve Phillips said. "We needed that money to move forward."

They have filed a report with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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