Business owners say landlord won’t respond as they wait for condemned St. Matthews shopping center to reopen

Charim grows frustrated with insurance company, landlord following collapse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Nearly two months after the roof collapsed on a St. Matthews strip mall, some businesses are still struggling to make ends meet.

With no cash coming in, some have no other choice but to wait it out.

Tenants say the landlord has been unreachable, not returning calls or giving any information about what’s happening, and the hole in the roof is only getting bigger by the day.

Yeonhee Chung is the owner of the Korean Restaurant the roof came down on, Charim. Now, she only checks on her restaurant through a chainlink fence. The hole has grown so big, it is just too dangerous to go near her doors.

“I couldn’t save any of my stuff so I’m just on standby here,” Chung said.

As the hole grows bigger, so does Chung’s frustration. She said neither the landlord nor the insurance company are responding to her repeated messages.

“As time goes on and money is not there, I need it to live, too,” Chung said.

WAVE 3 News also tried to contact the landlord, but only got voicemails and a locked door.

There has been a lawsuit filed, however, by Galleria of St. Matthews, against the insurance company for not paying the $3 million claim quickly enough.

Meanwhile, Chung and her employees still wait without work.

“All my customers forget about my restaurant,” she said. “I built it for so long. Seven and a half years is not a short time.”

It hurts Chung to tell her employees to move on while she’s unable to relocate like a majority of the other businesses have.

“If I have money right away I say yes, I move some other place, but to reopen a new restaurant, it’s not a small job,” Chung said.

It’s not that she doesn’t have anywhere to go, Chung said someone offered her a space in their building, she just doesn’t have the money to move, buy all new equipment and furnishings.

Havana Rumba has filed a lawsuit against the landlord claiming he did not maintain or repair the property well enough.

WAVE 3 News reached out to the attorney representing Galleria of St. Matthew’s for a response and hasn’t heard back.

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