Auction at tavern to help pay back taxes

MAYFIELD – Local businessmen and curious citizens filled the seized Pour Jim’s Restaurant and Tavern on Monday, buying tables, chairs and memorabilia.

Collar City Auctions and state Department of Taxation and Finance officials ran an auction for the contents of the establishment.

Pour Jim’s was seized in July due to the owner, James Peters, not paying taxes owed by the establishment, state Department of Taxation officials said.

Collar City Auctioneer Randy Passonno, who was in charge of the auction, worked his way through the restaurant, selling chairs, tables, liquor and kitchen equipment.

Vernon Sawyer of Cambridge, Washington County, drove more than an hour to Mayfield for the auction, hoping to buy tables and chairs for a restaurant his son plans on opening.

“It had a good turnout,” Sawyer said of the auction, leaving with several tables.

Mark DeMeo, owner of Camper’s Last Stop in Northampton, was visiting the auction to look for items to help a planned expansion of his deli.

“We figured for the memorabilia and the history of the area, we’d come and buy some items,” DeMeo said.

Village Mayor Jamie Ward, who attended the auction, said he is disappointed to see the restaurant go.

“It is a shame. I look forward to a new owner taking over the great legacy that has been built here and carrying it along,” Ward said.

In July, Cary Ziter of the Department of Taxation and Finance said the warrants against Pour Jim’s include $6,893 for withholding tax, $400 for corporation tax and $406,019 in sales tax. In total, Pour Jim’s owes $413,313 to the state.

According to the Fulton County Clerk’s Office’s records, Pour Jim’s has had multiple cases of owing taxes, dating back to 2006, with two federal tax liens set on the business on Nov. 4, 2013, and May 14, 2013, totalling more than $38,000. The records did not show if the liens had been satisfied.

As recently as May and June, Pour Jim’s had paid back more than $2,000 to the state Department of Labor and more than $200 to the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Ziter said in an email Monday the auction’s profits will go toward the back taxes, but the building itself was not being sold by the state.

“This is all we can share with you, given the privacy provisions of the tax laws that protect confidential interactions between the department and a taxpayer,” Ziter said in an email.

Ward said confidential buyers are interested in purchasing Pour Jim’s.

“They talked to me personally on a couple different occasions, and I wish them luck. There are some really good entrepreneurs that could do a good job running a tavern,” Ward said. “There is a lot of strong interest.”