Columbia bar files lawsuit over shared door access

Harpo's lawsuit

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A bar in downtown Columbia is suing its neighbor over access to a shared door the bar uses as an emergency exit.

The lawsuit, filed by Harpo's on South Tenth Street, claims the owner of the property near it, Varose, LLC, blocked access to two doors, by building a concrete wall and the main stairwell on or around November 17, creating a breach of contract to the agreed upon easement from 2010.

This act also keeps Harpo's from meeting city safety codes. According to court documents, the city required the owner to stop using a "substantial portion" of their property until access is restored.

The Columbia Fire Department was aware that the property had some violations prior, which prompted them to inspect the property. 

ABC 17 News got a hold of the Columbia Fire Department's inspection report. It said the emergency exit door was locked, there was no mention of a concrete wall being built.

The city told ABC 17 News the owners of Harpo's had to close Ten Below, a business they also own and operate in the same building. ABC 17 News called Harpo's and confirmed that Ten Below will remain closed. 

According to the fire department Harpo's is working on building a new emergency exit to be in compliance with the safety codes.

The city also said the property owner next to Harpo's apparently received complaints from its tenant about the door being used for more than just emergencies.

The lawsuit claims Harpo's has suffered a loss of revenue by not being allowed to use a significant portion of its property.

ABC 17 News called Harpo's for a comment on the lawsuit Tuesday, they had no comment. ABC 17 News also reached out to the attorney for Varose, who also said the company had no comment.

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