North Huntingdon rejects liquor license transfer for Winghart’s
North Huntingdon officials rejected a request to transfer an expired liquor license from the former Winghart’s Burger Beer & Whiskey Bar in Hempfield to a closed tavern in North Huntingdon.
The township commissioners on Wednesday unanimously rejected a request from Prasad Margabandhu and his brother, Sivram Bandhu, both of Pittsburgh, to transfer their liquor license to the former Rivertowne Pub & Grille site on Route 30, so it can reopen as Winghart’s Lounge. The bothers closed their Winghart’s Burger location in Hempfield this summer in a landlord-tenant dispute with the owners of Westmoreland Mall.
They are accused of owing $91,000 in unpaid rent to the mall owners.
The brothers own the liquor license under the name of Bandhu Brothers Inc., but had made the request to transfer the license under the name of Smithfield Holdings. According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s database, the Bandhu Brothers still owned the license as of Wednesday.
Commissioner Anthony Martino, who made the motion to deny the liquor license transfer, said he opposed it because “you can’t transfer something (license) that has expired.”
Another reason for rejecting the request was that the brothers missed a township public hearing that was held on Nov. 14, Martino said. The brothers walked into the meeting room a few minutes late, after a courtroom stenographer had left.
Sivram Bandhu said after the meeting that they intend to get the liquor license activated again and refile the request for a license transfer. He hopes a hearing could be held in December.
Prasad Margabandhu had said he wanted to open the tavern early next year. The brothers’ Shivs Real Estate purchased 50 percent interest in the property in January, after Rivertowne filed for bankruptcy.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .