Vintage Room leaves builder $166k in debt
THE Vintage Room's Amani Khehra has hired a marketing manager, despite the numerous suppliers and employees who claim to have been left out of pocket by the restaurateur.
Since the Daily Mercury's first story on the Mackay businessman last month, Roger Kwok has joined the list of disgruntled former suppliers.
The Freestyle Constructions owner provided an adjudication certificate, issued on February 18, 2015, which showed he had been left with a debt of $166,139.95 by Amanpreet (Amani) Khehra after constructing The Vintage Room.
Mr Kwok claimed he had only been paid about $2000-$3000 for his work.
But Mr Khehra's focus was his business, and his new marketing manager issued a press release on Mr Khehra's behalf earlier this month.
It followed a protest in front of The Vintage Room on November 27, where Mr Khehra claimed "some of the complaints were a little far fetched".
"Some diners walk(ed) out and other patrons feel highly uncomfortable," the press release stated.
"One diner remarked 'It ruined a nice evening out which we don't often get to do with our young children needing a babysitter'."
Mr Khehra took the opportunity to blame the economic downturn and the city centre upgrade for his failure to pay many of his debts.
"Some (debtors) have been really understanding," Mr Khehra was quoted as saying.
"Most of the earnings from The Vintage Room go into making back payments and making small payments to our suppliers as well as paying employees."
The marketing manager was contacted for further comment from Mr Khehra, but said he declined.