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Sides involved in sale of Rivertowne Pub in North Huntingdon defend transaction |

Sides involved in sale of Rivertowne Pub in North Huntingdon defend transaction

Joe Napsha
Site of closed Rivertowne Pub & Grille in North Huntingdon

Two people involved in the recent sale of half interest in the former Rivertowne Pub & Grille in North Huntingdon said there is nothing wrong with the transaction, even though the state has been asked to investigate the deal over the amount of real estate transfer taxes.

Christian Fyke of Monroe­ville sold his share of the Route 30 property to Shivs Real Estate of Mt. Lebanon for $7,500 on Jan. 28. He and business partner Joseph Boros Jr. of Monroeville paid $520,000 for it in 2011. Fyke and Boros were among the owners of the former Rivertowne Brewing of Murrysville and its four taverns, which went into bankruptcy in May.

Fyke said the deal with Prasad Margabandhu required Shivs Real Estate to pay all closing costs, real estate transfer taxes and to deal with the mortgage held by PNC Banks, as well as to indemnify him. Fyke’s attorney, Brian Thompson of Warrendale, said PNC is owed about $360,000.

Fyke said Margabandhu’s offer to take care of the mortgage with PNC “superceded all other offers” for the property. Sivram Bandhu of Mt. Lebanon, also listed on Shivs LLC filing with the state, could not be reached for comment.

Boros did not sell his interest in the property, and PNC has not filed a mortgage satisfaction document with the Westmoreland County Recorder of Deeds. Boros could not be reached for comment.

The Recorder of Deeds office flagged the real estate transaction and notified the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue because the real estate transfer tax paid on the sale of the 2.9 acre parcel and building was $150, compared to the $10,400 in real estate transfer taxes paid to the state, North Huntingdon and the Norwin School District in 2011.

A Revenue Department spokesman said the agency does not answer questions about specific cases.

Margabandhu said he paid the transfer taxes owed from the sale price — which he defended, saying the building was vacant, had sustained water damage from frozen pipes that had burst and there are taxes owed on the parcel. Margabandhu said he was relieving Fyke of the PNC mortgage.

Margabandhu is scheduled to appear Thursday before Westmore­land County Judge Chris Sherer, who is presiding over a civil case the owners of the Westmoreland Mall filed seeking a judgment to evict Winghart’s Burger and Whiskey Bar in Hempfield over an alleged failure to pay back rent. CBL/Westmoreland, owners of the mall, claim the business — owned by Bandhu Brothers Inc. — owes rent from October 2017 through March.

Bandhu Brothers’ attorney, Robert Richman, argued that CBL/Westmoreland’s petition for the judgment offered insufficient proof.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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