Indiana Township bar, padlocked, to reopen
An Indiana Township bar and restaurant was briefly closed Friday afternoon for failing to pay Allegheny County's alcoholic drink tax.
Sheriff's deputies arrived at Gators Grille at 3410 Saxonburg Blvd., across from Hartwood Towne Centre, around 1 p.m. to “padlock” the building. The business had been open and serving lunch.
It reopened around 4 p.m. after owner John Scott settled up with the county.
Gators Grille is listed with the state as owned by Antoja Inc. Scott owns the business, said Bob Miecznikowski, manager of the county's special tax division.
The business owed more than $32,500 in the unpaid tax, according to county Treasurer John Weinstein's office. It had not filed any returns for the 7 percent tax from June through March, Miecznikowski said.
He said the tax is due monthly.
Surprised patrons were forced to leave, including some who had sat down but never got a chance to order food. Employees who had not been aware of the business' tax debt left.
“I love this place,” said Kevin McKamish of Fox Chapel. “We didn't even know about it until we sat down to eat.”
A locksmith changed the locks, and deputies posted “closed” signs. A notice for a June sheriff's sale of the bar's contents, including its liquor license, was put in a front window.
Potential customers slowed as they drove by, got a look at the deputies and media assembled in the parking lot, then drove away.
“Unbelievable. Where am I going to go?” one distressed man said upon discovering Gators closed.
A payment of nearly $32,800 allowed Gators to reopen, Miecznikowski said.
Manager Jake Schaffold said it would reopen around 4 p.m., in time for last night's Penguins playoff game, drink specials for which were advertised on the restaurant's sign.
“They straightened everything out down there,” Schaffold said.
Scott did not respond to a request through Schaffold for comment.
In a statement, Weinstein said the closing was part of his effort “to protect the taxpayers from delinquent bar owners who misappropriate their money.”
Weinstein has authorized the filing of more than 120 lawsuits against delinquent establishments, resulting in more than $1 million of delinquent collections.
A total of 35 establishments have been shut down and padlocked for not paying taxes due.
“As I stated before, it is not fair to other bar and restaurant owners, and the taxpayers who frequent these establishments that the drink taxes collected are not remitted to the county in a timely manner,” Weinstein said.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Springdale Library to pay rent to borough
- Eagle Scout project gives Knoch High Stadium press box a face-lift
- Alle-Kiski Valley slips into the holiday spirit with Light Up Night festivities
- Freezing rain menaces Alle-Kiski Valley roadways
- Machinists ranked No. 1 occupation by Department of Labor
- Knoch graduate a success in male-dominant profession
- Brackenridge high-rise infested with bed bugs
- Building’s cracked facade forces closure of East Sixth Avenue in Tarentum
- No eagle cam for Harmar next year but 2 for Hays
- Suspect in Harrison robbery arrested, suspected of 14 other holdups