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Longtime Broad Axe patron wants to lease establishment

Robert Foutch says he would like to take control of the business by March

January 25, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

A local insurance agent who has been a longtime patron of The Broad Axe restaurant and bar on West Franklin Street in Hagerstown told the Washington County liquor board Wednesday that he is interested in leasing the establishment.

“When I was younger, it was one of the best bars in town,” Robert Foutch, 33, of Hagerstown, said during a hearing before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County. “I think it has the potential to do that again.”

Foutch said he has talked to Broad Axe owner Jose Arias about entering into a lease-to-own agreement.
“I’m sure you guys have heard he’s been doing some struggling over there,” Foutch said.

Arias told the liquor board earlier this month that the poor economy had driven him to consider whether to close The Broad Axe at 28 W. Franklin St., or El Palenque Cantina Restaurant, another business he owns at 204 E. Franklin St.

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Arias said last week while he was working at El Palenque that he didn’t want to discuss the matter further, including the reason why he chose to close The Broad Axe instead of El Palenque.

Foutch said he has been a patron at The Broad Axe since he was 21.
“I’m excited to get in the kitchen and make up some new sandwiches,” said Foutch, noting he would keep some of the items currently on the menu and add others.

Foutch also told the liquor board that he wanted to explore delivering alcohol from The Broad Axe, which is permitted under the business’ Class D license.

Foutch said after the hearing that if everything goes well, he would like to take control of the business by March.

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

Arias has owned the Broad Axe for six years.

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