Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub, an anchor restaurant in The Commons, has closed. It is the third eatery to shut its doors at that location in the past four years.
Mark Wilcox, who purchased the restaurant with his father Richard in 2015, confirmed the restaurant closed Sunday, but said he would have no additional comment on the closing. Wilcox had previously owned Scores Sports Bar and Grill on Columbus’ west side, which closed in 2015.
Jordy McTaggart’s, at 310 Washington St., opened in May 2014 in space that had been previously occupied by Scotty’s Burger Joint and then the Detour American Grille & Bar. Each of the restaurant operators leased their space from the Columbus Redevelopment Commission.
The Wilcoxes purchased the restaurant — located in the largest restaurant space in The Commons, 5,510 square feet — from Tim Rohrer and Dave Barker, Jordy McTaggart’s founders. The original owners had invested about $500,000 in property improvements and had about 100 employees when Jordy McTaggart’s opened.
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Unlike the previous tenants, Rohrer and Barker had not requested build-out funding from the city when adding wooden fixtures, custom-made wooden tables, stained glass window fixtures, a new sound system and performance stage, new kitchen equipment and about a dozen 60-inch televisions. Most of the work, designed to provide a feeling of an authentic Irish-style pub, was done in about three and a half months.
The latest Jordy’s owners had been fighting through financial difficulties over the past eight months.
In June, the city learned that Jordy McTaggart’s was behind $21,000 in back rent, utilities, property taxes and late fees.
Redevelopment attorney Stan Gamso had been working with the Wilcoxes and their attorney to try to get the restaurant caught up on its bills, Columbus Redevelopment Director Heather Pope said.
But as of a week ago, the city determined the restaurant remained in arrears, owing about $15,300 in back rent, property taxes and utilities — which included a part of the May tax installment and all of November, Pope said.
The last late notice went out to the restaurant Jan. 20, noting that the company had not paid its December rent.
The original city lease for Rohrer and Barker was a monthly rent of $5,051.75 or $60,621 a year, according to lease documents signed by the city prior to the restaurant opening.
At the time of the sale to the Wilcoxes, the redevelopment commission said there would be no changes in the city’s lease agreement as the lease was with the company purchased by the new owners, Jordy’s Inc., and not Rohrer and Barker specifically.
Columbus Redevelopment Director Heather Pope said the city had received a call from The Commons staff that the restaurant doors were locked on Monday and that paper was being placed to cover the windows where the restaurant faces the street.
Pope said it is unknown whether the city will be able to recoup any of the owed money from the owners.
Saying she was disappointed that the restaurant had closed, Pope said the city works closely with all its tenants in The Commons in the hopes they will be successful.
The restaurant closing may be discussed at the next Columbus Redevelopment Commission meeting, scheduled for Feb. 27, Pope said. But city officials also might call a closed-door session to determine strategy regarding litigation involving the closing, she said.
The Jordy closing is the second large restaurant in downtown Columbus to close recently.
Smith’s Row, 418 Fourth St., closed Dec. 17 after three years in business under new owners. It had originally opened Dec. 31, 1998.
April 2011: Scotty’s Burger Joint is one of the first tenants announced for the new Commons under a lease held by Greenhouse Restaurant LLC, a company owned by MSCB Group.
November 2011: Scotty’s opens in November 2011, managed by A Pots & Pans Production, which operates Scotty’s franchises.
December 2012: MSCB Group ends its relationship with A Pots & Pans to operate Scotty’s and announces the space will convert to Detour American Grille & Bar. The City of Columbus cites its lease was for a Scotty’s franchise, and begins searching for new proposals for the property.
January 2013: Greenhouse Restaurant LLC opens the restaurant as Detour. The Columbus Redevelopment Commission decided to seek a judge’s ruling on whether the name change constituted a violation of the lease. Before the city attorney filed a request for a judgment, and about three weeks after the restaurant held a grand-opening event, the company closed the Detour restaurant and moved out the night of March 18, 2013. The lease was officially terminated by the city on April 19, 2013, waiving all claims on both sides of the dispute.
November 2013: Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub is awarded its lease by the redevelopment commission.
December 2013: Columbus City Council signs a 10-year lease with Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub.
May 2014: Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub opens to the public.
January 2015: Jordy’s Inc., the company that owns Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub, is purchased by Mark and Richard Wilcox, Columbus.
June,2016: The city learns that Jordy McTaggart’s was behind $21,000 in back rent, utilities, property taxes and late fees.
Jan. 20, 2017: The city determines the restaurant remained in arrears, owing about $15,300 in back rent, property taxes and utilities.
Jan. 29, 2017: Jordy McTaggart’s closes.