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Gateway Steak & Seafood owner to be evicted

Owner of the building says restaurateur has failed to pay rent, sign lease

December 08, 2010|DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

The owner of the building that used to be home to the Gateway Seafood House on U.S. 40 near Clear Spring told the Washington County liquor board Wednesday that he intends to evict the new tenant fewer than two months after she opened a restaurant there.

Frank Plessinger told the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County that tenant Tina Hayes has failed to sign a lease and pay rent since she opened the Gateway Steak & Seafood Restaurant at 15124 National Pike.

He said he intended to change the locks so Hayes couldn’t re-enter the property. Plessinger and Hayes attended separate hearings before the liquor board on Wednesday to discuss the matter. Hayes said that negotiations to keep her business at the property were ongoing.

She said she had a meeting next week with her attorney to discuss the matter.

“Everything is pending negotiations right now,” Hayes said. “I haven't signed a lease .... I don't know at this point if I can sign a lease like that.”

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In October, the liquor board gave Hayes permission to serve alcohol at the business if she met certain requirements.

Liquor board Chairman Robert Everhart said Wednesday that Hayes still hadn't filed the bulk transfer requirement, which inventories leftover alcohol that is transferred from the previous operator of a business to the new one.

Everhart said the bulk transfer didn't matter now because Plessinger planned to evict Hayes from the building.

Plessinger and Michelle Barnhart, who is listed as a licensee on the liquor license, claimed that Hayes caused $15,000 of damage to the building, including tearing pipes from the wall and doors off their hinges. “She destroyed the property,” Barnhart said. “We have to go in and fix it.”

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