Bar owner defaults on city loan

The city still holds a second mortgage on one of the bar owners’ house.



WARREN — A former downtown bar owner and proponent of Warren business development has defaulted on a $40,000 loan the City of Warren made to him.

A recent default judgment ruling by Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Kontos means that Tristan Hand and business partner Robert E. Fott owe the city $41,040.

Hand was owner of the Queen of Hearts bar, which operated on Pine Avenue Southeast downtown for eight years until it was forced to move to another location because of a fire that occurred near the bar in 2005.

Tony Iannucci Jr., director of the Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp., which made the loan to the bar in 2005, said the judgment will allow the city to sell off some of the bar’s equipment, which it is holding in storage. The city will keep any proceeds from the sale, he said.

He predicted that the sale would bring in amounts in the low thousands, not nearly the whole amount.

The city also holds a second mortgage on Fott’s home and could attempt to recapture some of the money by foreclosing on it, but that measure won’t be necessary at this stage, Iannucci said. First, the city will approach the two and see whether they will make payments.

The city lent Hand and Fott $40,000 at 7 percent interest in November 2005 so that they could retain two full-time jobs and six part-time jobs at the bar’s new location in the Ridgeview Plaza on Ridge Road Southeast.

However, the bar defaulted on the loan as of Feb. 1, 2006, causing the city to sue Sept. 20, 2007.

Neither Hand nor Fott could be reached to comment.