A small piece of paper on the door of Good Time Charley’s, a popular campus bar and restaurant, says “Good Time Charley’s is closed for renovations. We will re-open Thursday, Feb. 1.”
After closing for the holidays on Dec. 22, Charley’s didn’t reopen at the start of the new semester.
No one seems to know how long the building at 1140 S. University Ave. will stay locked.
The restaurant, including its liquor license and equipment, has been listed for sale on the McKinley Brokerage Services website since November.
Manager Nicholas Crooms said employees had asked Rick Buhr, the bar’s owner, whether it was going to reopen after break. According to Crooms, Buhr told them it would.
Buhr and Jim Chaconas, the agent responsible for dealing with potential buyers, could not be reached for comment.
Although the bar’s owners have not officially informed employees of a change in ownership, many employees are wondering whether they have lost their jobs for good.
“We don’t know if we were laid off,” Crooms said. “We just came back and it was closed.”
Crooms, who has worked at Charley’s for three years, said worried employees have been contacting him in their search for answers. Many of them want to know whether they will receive their paychecks from the bar’s last few weeks of business.
Both Crooms and University alum Brian Yeager, also a manager at Charley’s, said Buhr’s nephew, Joe Hahn, told them during the bar’s last week of operation that it wouldn’t be reopening in January. Hahn is also a manager at Charley’s.
Crooms and Yeager said they tried to spread the world to as many employees as they could, but some had left early for the break and others were unavailable.
Yeager said that once Charley’s employees learned the business was for sale, many began to worry about their job security, and some stopped coming to work altogether.
“As soon as people found out, we had a dramatic loss of employees,” Yeager said. “At one point I think we had one server who was scheduled even show up for their shift, out of six or seven servers.”
Even with a decline in the number of employees, Yeager estimated that between 40 and 50 people are unemployed because of the bar’s closing.
“I’m currently jobless and everybody else is too, so it’s a sad situation,” Crooms said.
Owners of other popular near-campus establishments have expressed interest in the property, according to one potential buyer who wished to remain anonymous because the sale was still pending.
Yeager speculates that the bar’s ownership may be “testing the waters” to see what the business is worth, and that the sale of the business may not even occur. He said he is optimistic about the bar’s future, regardless of whether it changes hands.
“I think there’s a pretty good chance that it’s going to stay Good Time Charley’s and keep the name, rather than become something else,” he said.