SOUTH BEND Representatives of a restaurant abruptly shutdown by the city of South Bend met with City officials Saturday.
A court order closed down The Vine early Friday morning.
According to city’s director of business development, Chris Fielding, the owner is at least six months behind in rent, among other problems.
Apparently The Vine started calling their customers to let them know they would not be open in June and would be closed by May 31st.
The city acted quickly to recoup any loses and shut down the business within months of back rent owed to the city.
The signs were posted on the Vine's door including a court order, a list of other restaurants open in the downtown area and places that are hiring wait staff.
There were several attempts to contact the owner without any success.
The city changed the locks and took inventory of the stock.
Once rumors spilled out through several customers that the restaurant planned to close the city took action immediately.
“So essentially by locking the doors we could make sure that all supplies and inventory stay on that premises,” says Fielding. “If there is anything in excess of what's owed we'll work that out through the court but this way if we can’t satisfy the payment through monthly arrangements, then we would expect the equipment is there. It would make it less of a risk and more of a restaurant attraction.”
The city says they tried reaching out to the owner several times about the money she owed but she was unavailable.
On Saturday, City officials met with The Vine. Representatives from The Vine paid a little over half of the "agreed-upon balance", according to Cristal Brisco, Corporation Counsel for the City of South Bend.
Brisco released this statement: "Representatives from The Vine met with City officials this morning and paid a little over half of the agreed-upon payment. In the spirit of flexibility and support of small businesses, The Vine is open today, but the City retains the keys and access to the property. Also, the Fire Department determined that it was safe to open since the violations were addressed. Representatives from The Vine stated they would send the balance of funds Monday morning. With that, the restaurant could temporarily reopen. The parties are scheduled to address the remainder of the city's concerns in court on May 16."