Public House Sold at Auction

June 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some restaurant employees walked off the job Wednesday after the Public House restaurant was sold at auction. Wednesday's developments marked more trouble for the failed Granite Park development. Granite Park is divided into several sections. Only the Public House portion was sold at auction because the former owners $2.2-million. Now the future of the establishment is uncertain.At a Northwest Fresno firm, an auctioneer offered the Public House to the highest bidder. But no one showed up to place a bid. So the property went to investors Thomas and Melissa Tarlton who loaned money to the owners of the Public House. Jordan Freeman represents the Tarltons. He said, "The lender plans to get control of the property which will entail...making sure what we are going to do with the tenant whether we are going to keep the tenant or evict the tenant

Some employees walked off the job after the auction. One former employee talked with us but did not want to give his name. He said, "It is going under. It is over ... because it is unprofessional. I can't work like this. I can't be hoping that I get paid. I gotta get paid when I need to get paid."

Milt Barbis is the developer of Granite Park. He is currently under investigation for insurance fraud and other alleged crimes. But all these problems are not stopping Kirk Vartainian who is investing in the old Cabo Wabo. Now he wants to own the Public House. Vartainian said, "The vision is to bring public house back. I hate for public house to close. It is such a good restaurant.

Vartainian said he is in talks right now to buy the public house. The restaurant is still open. But we did talk with a local teacher who planned to have a party. She said she moved the party because of the uncertainty surrounding the Public House.

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