Largo Turns Down Idea of Operating A Barroom Business
by Leo Coughlin
LARGO - The city will not be going into the barroom business though it will continue to own the property where O'Houston's Pub, to have new operating ownership, is located.
That was the indication of Tuesday night's work session meeting of the City Commission.
First mentioned at last week's commission meeting, the status of the city's property at 518 West Bay Drive which is leased to O'Houston's will be finally approved at the commission meeting next week.
When the city bought the West Bay Drive property two years ago, O'Houston's occupied it under an existing lease that runs through 2013 with an option for a five-year renewal.
Under the terms of the lease, the tenants are barred from subletting, assigning or abandoning the premises unless the city gives its approval. The city also has the right of refusal on any sublease or sale.
On October 6, the current tenants, Chris and Edwin Houston, owners and operators of the pub, notified the city that they had a buyer for the pub business at a price of $225,000.
With this development, the city can either buy the business or give the Houstons permission to go forward with their sale of the business.
The city's staff recommendation was that the business not be purchased but the question of direction presented to the commission Tuesday night was whether to buy the business or check the proposed buyer's credentials and approve assignment of the lease.
In response to the Houstons notification to the city which used rather strange language that said the Houstons "are giving written consent for permission to sublease the proposed sale of the business," Alan Zimmet, the city attorney, responded with a definitive letter that presented the Houstons with what they needed to do pursuant to their apparent request.
Delivered by hand and signed for by Chris Houston on October 8, Zimmet's letter said that the city must receive from the Houstons the following -
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