PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The owners of WHIM nightclub were allowed to open the doors for just a few hours on Monday for an auction to try and liquidate what they could.
At the end of June, a judge ordered them to vacate after a legal battle with Station Square owners Forest City.
“In February, we had gotten a 120-day lease termination notice, which was part of our lease agreement that they could do that on the basis of redevelopment,” said WHIM operating partner Chad Hardy.
WHIM’s problem is that Forest City’s redevelopment plan is to level the East Warehouse, which in the past has housed a slew of bars and nightclubs, and create additional parking.
“We just didn’t really believe that was redevelopment,” Hardy went on to say to KDKA’s Heather Abraham.
WHIM attempted to fight the lease termination, but a judge disagreed with their argument. Their last customers were served on Saturday, June 21.
Just days later, the doors to WHIM were padlocked.
“To have this whole complex close down is just really sad to see,” said Stephen Pacacha, a former bartender at WHIM.
Everything that could be auctioned, was. The padlocks were removed from the doors Monday morning, but will be put back on at the end of the day Tuesday to allow for purchased items to be picked up.
“We’re looking to get some coolers that we may be able to use and store our hops in our brewing operation,” said Church Brew Works owner Sean Casey. “It’s part of the ultimate recycling I guess. It’s better than trashing everything and throwing it out I suppose.”
Hardy said they know they won’t get much.
“We don’t have the time, because the way it ended abruptly. We didn’t have the time to start to move things out. So, the best thing was to bring an auction company in and liquidate as much as possible,” Hardy said.
Forest City spokesperson Jeff Linton said that their plans include residential development as well, but nothing has been finalized at this time. Linton said it could be condos, apartments, or a combination.
“Ultimately, I do understand that development for this city is going to come. We were just hoping to stay as long as we could,” Hardy said.