DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO -- Come Friday, and for the foreseeable future, the crushing debt, the lawsuits and even accusations of physical altercations during the first two years of business at El Rey On K will start to fade away -- or so they hope.
"We're moving in a new direction, focusing more on the venue being a sports bar, events venue and we're going to focus a lot on arts," said co-owner Ken Harris.
Harris, along with former Kings player Kenny Thomas and a third business partner, began regrouping, refitting and rebranding the spot known now as 7th and K.
"The venue will be successful because of where it is, who's involved," Harris told FOX40. "We just have to adjust the focus so that we are a little bit more attuned to the goals of the downtown Sacramento business community, and that's what we're doing."
The restaurant is facing numerous charges from former employees who say they are owed thousands in back pay, a civil lawsuit from former business partners and a separate lawsuit seeking to evict the business for not paying more than $50,000 in rent.
On Thursday night, Harris admitted that even though the venue is going forward, there is no guarantee they will be able to stay there.
"I am hopeful that that won't be the case," he said. "We're really hopeful we get into a situation here where we will be a long-term participant in activities in downtown Sacramento. That's the goal."
Harris, who is also an attorney, believes in time the issues will eventually be resolved and Thomas' good name will once again be re-established due to the success of 7th and K.
"It doesn't weigh on you, it teaches you. I think that's kind of how Kenny is kind of seeing it now, is understanding that we have to always focus on certain fundamental business principles, keep it moving, and let's rebrand and retarget and make sure that we're an asset to the community that surrounds him."
7th and K officially opens Friday at 7 p.m. and admission is free.