Rivertowne liquor licenses sold at bankruptcy auction
A Monroeville real estate owner bought the closed Rivertowne Pub & Grille’s restaurant liquor license in North Huntingdon and the tavern’s inventory of equipment and supplies for $107,500 in a bankruptcy court auction in Pittsburgh Thursday.
Sheldon Klasfeld of Monroeville Properties LLC, which rents houses, purchased the license and inventory in a spirited auction that saw the bids start at $70,000 and rise to the final price by increments of $2,500. Klasfeld outbid Mark Kushner, a construction company owner, who stopped bidding at $105,000, in the auction conducted by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gregory Taddonio.
Klasfeld said afterward he would be interested in acquiring the tavern building and property, which is co-owned by Rivertowne founder Christian Fyke and business partner Joseph Biros Jr. of Monroeville. The pair purchased the Route 30 property in 2011 for $520,000.
Klasfeld said he is interested in keeping the license in North Huntingdon and that he would hire people to manage and operate the business. As to when he wants to open it, he simply replied, “ASAP.”
The future of Rivertowne’s North Huntingdon property has yet to be determined, Fyke said. That property was not part of the bankruptcy that Rivertowne and its interlocking companies filed in May.
Klasfeld last year had bid $85,000 for the liquor license and inventory at the former Rivertowne Brewery and Pour House in Monroeville. But the property owner disputed Rivertowne’s right to sell the inventory and improvements that were made to the facility.
Rivertowne’s liquor license at its former Monroeville restaurant will be auctioned at a future date, said Rivertowne attorney Daniel Schimizzi.
In a related Thursday auction, Monroeville businessman Ravitej Reddy bought Rivertowne’s Verona tavern liquor license at Jones Street for $85,000, outbidding Klasfeld, who dropped out at $80,000.
Reddy, who is chief executive officer of Personalized Genetics of Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood, said he intends to keep the liquor license in Allegheny County.
The inventory at the Verona site, offered at a base price of $10,000, did not attract any bidders.
The Verona liquor license became available for auction after Brewery Acquisition Co., which bought Rivertowne’s brewery in Murrysville, terminated its deal to buy the license in November.
While the liquor licenses were sold in bankruptcy court, the state Liquor Control Board must approve the transfer of the ownership, said Shawn Kelly, a LCB spokesman. There is no specific timeframe for approving a liquor license transfer, Kelly said.
The company’s liquor license at its former site on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, which closed in October, was acquired by S&T Bank, which was Rivertowne’s creditor at that site.
The proceeds from both sales will go toward paying Rivertowne debtors, Fyke said. The proceeds, however, will not cover all of the debts, he said.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or [email protected]