The owner of a controversial nightclub-restaurant on Foothill Boulevard owes his bank about $1.8 million, and the property has been slated for auction later this month.
The Clubhouse at This Old House, already in trouble with county code enforcement because of complaints from neighbors who allege loud noise from the business late at night, is undergoing a series of financial setbacks as well.
Owner-operator Andrew Adams said that, in addition to a bank’s lien on his property, he owes county property taxes and state taxes. Falling behind on the latter caused the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency to indefinitely suspend his liquor license.
A call to San Luis Trust Bank, which placed the $1.8 million lien on This Old House, went unanswered.
Adams says it is not yet time to sound the death knell for his 4-year-old business.
“Is all hope lost? Maybe. I don’t know,” he told The Tribune. He called his situation “a familiar story. Not everyone is pulling out of this (recession). You do the best you can, and at the end of the day you either make it or you don’t make it.”
“I’m a blind optimist,” he added. “I still hope something will happen.”
Among the things Adams says could save his business is finding a partner. But he acknowledges that small businesses are in “a scary time.”
He has scheduled a concert at the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos on Feb. 12 to seek support.
Nonetheless, the grim financial news piles on to his code enforcement problems.
Adams must return to the county Planning Commission on Feb. 10 to show that he has made progress in satisfying his neighbors’ complaints about noise. The commission in December told him to work with the county and neighbors.
The commission’s decision followed a 21⁄2-hour hearing at which many of Adams’ customers said he provided one of the few places in the county where older folks can go to hear music and dance.
“It’s a great venue for older patrons who don’t want to be downtown with the drunk students,” one customer said.
“It serves people who are too old to have the stamina to stay up with the kids,” Adams said.
However, several neighbors accused Adams of playing music that was too loud, playing it beyond his legal hours and being intransigent when they complained.
They testified that they had had no problems with the people who occupied the business before Adams took over in 2007.
For the moment, the business is closed, but Adams has placed a note on the window. It says, in part, that “we plan on coming back to bring more great music, food, and fun ... Stay tuned.”
— Bob Cuddy