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Owner weighs closing Broad Axe or El Palenque Cantina Restaurant

January 04, 2012

The owner of a longtime Hagerstown restaurant and bar told Washington County liquor officials Wednesday that he is considering whether to close the business.

Jose Arias, owner of the Broad Axe at 28 W. Franklin St. and El Palenque Cantina Restaurant at 204 E. Franklin St., said he likely would close one of the establishments because of the sluggish economy.

“We have to close one. That’s what we know,” Arias told the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County.

He said after the hearing that the restaurants weren’t drawing enough business.

Arias asked the liquor board if he would be permitted to move the remaining alcohol from the restaurant that he chooses to close to the one that will remain open.

Robert L. Everhart, liquor board chairman, said that Arias could do so as long as he gets a bulk-transfer permit from the state.

“We’ll certainly try to help you,” Everhart said.

The Herald-Mail has reported that Arias and his brother, Joseph Arias, opened El Palenque, in 2007. The restaurant serves Tex-Mex and Salvadoran cuisine.

The Ariases have owned the Broad Axe for six years.

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— Dan Dearth

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