DTC restaurant sues spa’s plumber, contractor over flooding damage

Ambli Global at Belleview Station was set to reopen after Labor Day in 2020, but had to push back the opening date because of flooding in the restaurant. (Lucy Peterson photo)

A Denver Tech Center restaurant is suing the general contractor and plumber that built a spa next door, alleging their work caused $1 million in flooding damages.

Ambli Global, a tapas restaurant with three Colorado locations, filed a lawsuit on April 1 against Clearwater Mechanical LLC and Alcorn Construction Inc., claiming negligence and trespassing.

Ambli owner Kelly Morrison said the flooding is the reason the restaurant has not opened since it closed due to the pandemic.

“We closed like everyone else did for COVID, and our goal we were planning at that time last year was to reopen around Labor Day of last year,” she said. “In July of last year, we walked into the restaurant and it had been unexpectedly flooded.”

Ambli Global’s Denver Tech Center location, which opened in 2017, is at 6799 E. Belleview Ave. It opened a second Global location in Colorado Springs in July 2020 and Ambli Mexico at FitzSimons, which serves Mexican dishes, at 2101 N. Ursula St. in Aurora that same month.

According to the lawsuit, Spa810, located next door to Ambli, hired Alcorn Construction to complete the buildout of its space in 2017. The construction company subsequently contracted a plumber, Clearwater Mechanical.

Ambli’s DTC location and Spa810 share common utilities, like the grease line and sanitary plumbing line within the Milehouse at Belleview Station property, according to the lawsuit.

“During the build out of Spa810, Defendant Clearwater negligently connected one of Spa810’s bathroom plumbing drain lines to the property’s grease line instead of the sanitary plumbing line in contravention of plumbing codes,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Defendant Alcorn either negligently approved the improper connection or negligently failed to discover the improper connection,” it states.

As a result of the improper connection, paper products and other non-water soluble materials accumulated in the grease line over the course of approximately two years until Spa810 closed its doors in 2019. On July 21, 2020, the grease line experienced a water backup, resulting in a flood in the vacant Spa810 space, as well as Ambli DTC’s roughly 5,500-square-foot space, according to the lawsuit.

Ambli’s DTC location has been closed since the flooding, which caused more than $1 million in damages that “continue to grow daily,” including costs to remediate the flood, clean and renovate the restaurant, replace damaged business property and lost profits. The restaurant is asking a judge for an undisclosed amount of compensatory damages exceeding $1 million.

“(The restaurant) was pretty destroyed, we had to pull up the flooring and cut the walls and mitigate all the water, which we were able to do quickly. We’ve just been involved in an insurance claim and a lawsuit to get the funds to be able to rebuild,” Morrison said. “Everything there was custom, so it’s not necessarily a cheap remodel.”

Chris Alcorn, president of Alcorn Construction, told BusinessDen that “everything will be done to make things right, and whoever is determined to be at fault and whatever is determined to be the facts in the matter, we will work with our insurance company to do what’s right and resolve the situation.”

Clearwater Mechanical declined a request for comment. Both companies have filed counterclaims and responses to the lawsuit.

Clearwater Mechanical denies the allegations and alleges that the damages may have been caused by third parties, “over whom Clearwater had no control or right to control,” the counterclaim reads.

Alcorn Construction also denied the allegations in a counterclaim, but added that “to the extent plaintiff’s claims have any merit, Clearwater is responsible for causing them and is obligated to defend and indemnify Alcorn,” the counterclaim reads.

Ambli is being represented by John R. Chase and Alex J. Gunning of Montgomery Amatuzio Chase Bell Jones.

Ambli Global at Belleview Station hopes to reopen in spring 2022, Morrison said.