Popular Kettering bar closing; owners cite ‘greed’


Highlights

The property owners says bar owners should honor the contract they signed. 

The owners of a popular Kettering bar cite “greed” as the reason they will close their bar that dates back to 1964 in its current location. 

Jack and Betty Wilderman announced the January 20, 2018 closure of The Phone Booth Lounge, 1554 E. Stroop Road, on Facebook Saturday 

They say negotiations with property owners Agust and Lou Ella “Susie” Thorbjornsson have failed.

>> 2017 IN REVIEW: 6 Dayton-area restaurants that closed this year

Reached by phone Monday, Mrs. Thorbjornsson said the Wildermans offered to pay $278,000 for the building and land, far less than the amount she believes they agreed upon.

The contract the Wildermans signed nearly 5 years ago specifies that the property and building would be purchased for $620,000, she says. She disputes the Wildermans assertion that the sale was optional. 

“They notified us the first time in August and they gave us two choices, neither of which we wanted: take what (they) were offering or they would move,” Thorbjornsson said. “I just feel they have not followed the contract to the letter. Maybe I am being a little picky, but a contract is a contract.” 

The club has darts and pool tables and features live music Friday and Saturday nights. 

Messages were left on Facebook and on Jack Wilderman’s cell phone seeking comment. 

The Facebook post from the Wildermans reads:

******* IMPORTANT NOTICE******** 

As of February 1st it has been 5 years since Betty and I bought the business, The Phone Booth Lounge. When we bought the business, we did so with a 5 year lease with the option to buy the property upon completion of the Lease. We are saddened to report that negotiations with the owners of the property have fallen apart. They are asking 250% more than the appraised value of the property. To meet these demands would be a financial disaster for Betty and me. We are announcing today that the Phone Booth Lounge will close on January 20th, 2018. Betty and I are searching for a new venue to continue the name and second home to so many The Phone Booth Lounge. We have come so far in 5 years, we hate to end it at this location, but greed has over shadowed the success of what Betty and I have built. We have so many people to thank for this success. But just keep in mind, we will prevail and be better than ever. We will post any updates as they arise. 

Thank you for your support 

Jack and Betty

The tenative value of the land and building is listed as $243,690 on the Montgomery County Auditors website. 

The Phone Booth Lounge was founded in 1964 and had multiple owners before the Thorbjornssons purchased it in 1985. 

>> Kettering restaurant shuts down after 7 years

They operated it for 27 years before turning the business over to the Wildermans. 

“We really enjoyed the people and we enjoyed making sure everyone was taken care of and had a good time,” Mrs. Thorbjornsson said. 

She did not immediately know what will happen to the space if the Wildermans leave. 

“I think once you enter into a contract you should honor that contract,” Thorbjornsson said.  

>> Restaurant shuts down abruptly at The Greene

>> 7 restaurants that are opening SOON in the Dayton area


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Xenia police, US Marshals arrest suspect who evades manhunt this month
Xenia police, US Marshals arrest suspect who evades manhunt this month

A 33-year-old Xenia man who evaded capture, which led to a manhunt in Xenia, was taken into custody by Xenia police and the U.S.  Marshals. Charles E. Dameron was arrested Wednesday night without incident, Xenia police Capt. Alonzo Wilson stated tonight in a news release. Charles will be facing additional charges as a result of this arrest, Wilson...
Hippo Kiss: Fiona’s smooch on canvas can be yours
Hippo Kiss: Fiona’s smooch on canvas can be yours

In celebration of the first birthday of Fiona — the premature hippopotamus who beat the odds and captured hearts around the globe — fans will get a chance to win a one-of-a-kind “Hippo Kiss” painting, and become an official Fiona parent. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is marking Fiona’s first birthday with a special...
Greater Dayton RTA buses could be rid of cash fares by 2020
Greater Dayton RTA buses could be rid of cash fares by 2020

The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority hopes to modernize its payment system and get rid of cash fares by 2020, officials said Wednesday. More than half of RTA riders have migrated to passes, including monthly and weekly passes, said Mark Donaghy, CEO of the agency.  The agency will work to become the first major transit authority in the...
Pastor: Community ‘in shock’ after news about Good Samaritan closing
Pastor: Community ‘in shock’ after news about Good Samaritan closing

Hours after Good Samaritan Hospital officials announced Wednesday that the facility will close later this year, reaction about the community impact has been wide ranging. "It's devastating news, I was shocked" said Daryl Ward, pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton.  His church is just down the street from Good Samaritan Hospital,...
2 males sought in Kettering home invasion robbery
2 males sought in Kettering home invasion robbery

Police are continuing to look for two males who committed a home invasion robbery on Hazel Avenue.  Investigators don't know what led the invaders to pick the home they did Wednesday afternoon, Kettering Police Patrolman John Jung said.  According to the preliminary investigation, the two males forced their way inside just before 4 p.m.,...
More Stories