Doors padlocked at local sports bar
Posted: October 4, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — City Council won’t have to make a decision on whether to revoke the nightclub permit of a controversial bar and restaurant on Valor Drive.
T.C. Tooties Historic Sports Pub was closed and locked Wednesday as Winchester officials began the process of selling off its fixtures to settle a tax debt.
City Treasurer R. Mark Garber said he was told Sept. 27 that the owner of the space at 2235 Valor Drive was padlocking the doors due to unpaid rent.
A notice of no trespass, posted on the door of the establishment, states that The Orfila Family Trust, trading as Yorktown Center, was terminating the lease as a result of delinquent rent dating to before June 27.
Garber said he moved on Friday to serve notice of unpaid taxes on the business.
On Wednesday, Garber and Winchester Sheriff Lenny Millholland were at the business, overseeing the removal of all leased equipment from the building.
Anything that’s left, such as the photographs of sports celebrities on the walls, will be sold to pay the taxes.
Garber said he could not disclose the amount owed, but it involved taxes on furniture and fixtures, which is set on Jan. 1 of each year and due on Dec. 5, along with the taxes restaurants collect on meals, which must be turned into the city by the 20th of each month.
T.C. Tooties has had a rocky ride in the city.
In February, the city sent owner Jonathan Cole a notice that his conditional-use permit to operate a nightclub would be revoked because of alleged violations of the permit’s conditions, including charging an admission fee, shots fired in the parking lot and various violations of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control rules.
City Council was scheduled to hear testimony on the revocation in May, but in June tabled the issue for six months in order to examine its process for approving nightclub permits.
Aaron Grisdale, the city’s zoning and inspections administrator, said the nightclub was allowed to continue operating during that time. He added that he knows of no recent complaints against T.C. Tooties.
On Wednesday, the door of the business carried the name FJ’s Sports Bar & Grill. But Garber said the name of the business had not been legally changed, “as far as the city goes.”
Winchester Sheriff Lenny Millholland will arrange for a sale of all the furniture and fixtures, Garber said, the time and place of which will be posted on the door of the business and in two other places around the city at least 10 days beforehand.
“We’re going to try to expedite this,” Garber said. “I’d like to see another business come in here” to get the property “back on the tax rolls.”
Tax liens and sales are “a last resort,” Garber added. “I try to work with all businesses. Sometimes those agreements don’t work out.”
If nothing can be worked out, Garber said, his job is to try to collect the money owned to the citizens of Winchester.
— Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com