DURHAM — Artie’s Bar and Grill will accept Time Out Taverne gift cards after the restaurant’s abrupt closing last week left many customers wondering what to do with their remaining credit.
In a Facebook post Friday, Artie’s said it will honor active Time Out Taverne gift cards at 50 percent of the remaining value until March 1. The bar and grill is at 980 New Haven Rd.
Time Out Taverne, 100 New Haven Rd., closed suddenly on Monday, Feb. 11. Owners Jack and Karen Castiglione and Gary Carmichael have not returned requests for comment.
Former bar manager Suzy Mongeon posted an update on Time Out Taverne’s website saying the business is not able to refund gift cards and “finding another solution is complicated.”
She said she is working to find other restaurants that use the payment processing company and might accept the credit. Options for gift card holders remain unclear.
“I’m sorry that we closed, and so abruptly,” Mongeon wrote in the post. “I can’t share the intimate details, but I can assure you that nobody anticipated this. We seemed to be turning a corner, with a new chef developing new menus, staff doing deep cleaning on their own time, plans to re-paint and generally face-lift, and now … it’s just over. Awful. Unbelievable. End of subject.”
Department of Consumer Protection spokeswoman Lora Rae Anderson said customers should first see if a business will offer refunds for gift cards after closing. If a customer is unable to reach the business, a complaint can be filed by emailing DCP.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anderson said when a business closes, its financial situation will usually dictate the obligations of a business to provide refunds.
“Sometimes they don't have the assets to pay consumers back, and in cases like when businesses file for bankruptcy, their next steps are dictated by the courts,” she said.
In general, the DCP recommends consumers use gift cards right away to prevent potential loss due to unexpected closures.
A statement posted on the restaurant’s website last week said the decision to close was “made under great pressure and with great reluctance.”
First Selectman Laura Francis said last week that she hoped people don’t jump to conclusions as to why the tavern closed, and instead assume that the owners either “had to or wanted to make that decision.”
State Department of Revenue Service Spokesman Jim Polites said Time Out Tavern’s sales and use tax permit was still current Friday. A search of town property records found now tax liens against the 100 New Haven Road location of the restaurant, or an on the home of its owners.
TimeOut Realty, LLC, part owners of Time Out Taverne, is currently in the midst of two active lawsuits from people blaming the owners for falls that occurred at the restaurant.
Alecia Kovach, a former employee, filed suit as of Feb.11, and Cynthia Harward,a former customer, filed in 2017, according to the state judicial website.
Both women are suing TImeOut Realty, LLC for failing to maintain safe conditions which caused personal injuries.
Attorney Elycia Solimene, attorney with Solimene & Secondo, LLP, representing TimeOut Realty in Harward’s complaint, could not be reached for comment. An attorney hasn’t yet filed an appearance to represent the company in the newest case. The Connecticut Judicial Branch website shows no other pending legal action against the owners.