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  1. #1
    fuzzycraig is offline Member
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    Default Watusi II is for sale. What would you like to see there?

    The Watusi II, at 45th and Locust, closed about two months ago due to some zoning violations. It is with some measure of sadness that I report it is now up for sale according to my everyblock updates. It was a strange neighborhood institution, and now that it's departing, I'm sorry to see it go.

    That said, anybody have any great ideas for a former rooming house with a bar on the first floor. Upper floors are very decrepit as far as I can tell.

  2. #2
    boognish is offline Senior Member
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    I would imagine the space will take a considerable amount of restoration, but I'm guessing based on its external appearance. All fixed up it could be a nice little restaurant ala Marigold. Kinda doubt that will happen, but it would be nice.

    Does anyone have an idea as to why they were closed down? Seemed to come out of the blue considering how crummy the place looked for years and years.

  3. #3
    miznut is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by boognish View Post
    I would imagine the space will take a considerable amount of restoration, but I'm guessing based on its external appearance. All fixed up it could be a nice little restaurant ala Marigold. Kinda doubt that will happen, but it would be nice.

    Does anyone have an idea as to why they were closed down? Seemed to come out of the blue considering how crummy the place looked for years and years.
    They were closed because of zoning violations and because the owner hadn't paid necessary food serving licensing fees. That's what I was told when they briefly re-opened.

    I'm sorry but as someone who lives close by I don't miss the drunken caterwauling, fights, LOUD music at 2 a.m., beer bottles and other trash left behind. Also won't miss the stench of their dumpster in the summer or the dumpster collector truck at 4 a.m.

    The building is a mess. The apartment building that shares the adjoining wall has had many problems with leaks and vermin because nothing has been done to the Watusi building in years. It's going to take more than "renovation", this is going to take a complete tear-out and rebuilding to make it habitable/usable.

    I do hope someone responsible does buy the building and turns it into something nice for the area.

  4. #4
    annie's Avatar
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    I would say the judgment against the owner in the amount of $589K to his bank probably has something to do with it. He's also getting sued in a personal injury case and by L&I. Asking for $635K but owes $67K in property taxes (on JUST that property). It should've gone to sheriff sale a long time ago. Same with Watutsi and New Third World Lounge.

  5. #5
    boognish is offline Senior Member
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    Whoa. Thanks for the clarification.

  6. #6
    thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie View Post
    I would say the judgment against the owner in the amount of $589K to his bank probably has something to do with it. He's also getting sued in a personal injury case and by L&I. Asking for $635K but owes $67K in property taxes (on JUST that property). It should've gone to sheriff sale a long time ago. Same with Watutsi and New Third World Lounge.
    Is it the same owner for all three?

    Auctioning off the 3rd World would be a godsend for my neighborhood. Or at least some kind of court-order toilet installation so they stop dumping buckets of piss in the alley

  7. #7
    annie's Avatar
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    Yep. Years ago the New Third World got cited by the PLCB for its Ladies' Night having male strippers that did full nudity. The report was hilarious - a couple times the undercover PLCB officer couldn't even get inside the place was so packed.

    I daydream about the owners of someplace like Johnny Brenda's buying New Third World but wonder if the neighborhood cranks would oppose something like that. Clearly the current situation with pee buckets(!) is not good. You should report that (I imagine this would fall into the category of "other").

  8. #8
    fuzzycraig is offline Member
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    Default Doors open at Watsui II again

    I take back all the nice stuff I said about the Watusi II. They're open again, and I didn't realize how peaceful it was with the bar crowd gone until they were back.

    Loud customers leaving the bar, drunken arguments, thinly disguised drug deals, very drunk people moving their cars between parking spaces all night long, music blaring through the open door, and totally shameless public urination -- it's amazing how quickly this all came back to the block.

    If the guy owes that much money, how was able to open up again?

  9. #9
    annie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzycraig View Post
    If the guy owes that much money, how was able to open up again?
    If the owner had any interest in following rules or respecting the neighborhood, he would not owe $67,000 in back taxes on that property...

  10. #10
    thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzycraig View Post
    I take back all the nice stuff I said about the Watusi II. They're open again, and I didn't realize how peaceful it was with the bar crowd gone until they were back.

    Loud customers leaving the bar, drunken arguments, thinly disguised drug deals, very drunk people moving their cars between parking spaces all night long, music blaring through the open door, and totally shameless public urination -- it's amazing how quickly this all came back to the block.

    If the guy owes that much money, how was able to open up again?
    The third world lounge is that x1000, and that's bounced back from the brink a couple of times now. He must know somebody. Can we collectively organize money to put these to sheriff sale?

  11. #11
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    I'll chip in $100 and volunteer to file the papers.

  12. #12
    annie's Avatar
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    Where's ArticSplash? Would filing the sheriff sale papers for Watutsi II automatically mean the owner could no longer sell the property? (Not that I expect anyone to buy for that price). It could take a year to go up on the auction block.

    New Third World doesn't have $2,500 in liens to force sheriff's sale...yet (once there's a lien for 2011 it's enough).

  13. #13
    sanspoint is offline Senior Member
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    For a place that's up for sale, Watusi II sure is busy... especially on Wednesday nights with their live band that drowns out my drum-practicing downstairs neighbor.

    The band's really good, too, but not so good that I'd rather hear them than sleep.

  14. #14
    MariusPontmercy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanspoint View Post
    For a place that's up for sale, Watusi II sure is busy... especially on Wednesday nights with their live band that drowns out my drum-practicing downstairs neighbor.

    The band's really good, too, but not so good that I'd rather hear them than sleep.
    I'll pitch in $100 if we can figure out how to file the paperwork.
    "imagination and memory are but one thing, which for diverse considerations hath diverse names" - Thomas Hobbes

  15. #15
    3rd&Brown is offline Senior Member
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    Subway.

  16. #16
    MariusPontmercy's Avatar
    MariusPontmercy is offline poor grad student
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    Maybe Whole Foods will get into the corner store business?
    "imagination and memory are but one thing, which for diverse considerations hath diverse names" - Thomas Hobbes

  17. #17
    Greg Avakian is offline Member
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    I'm an electrician and I once did an electrical evaluation and estimates for outdoor lighting though a program called U.C. Brite for Watusi and 3rd world lounge. I still have the lights that I bought -before the owner asked me to wait on the project. They're kinda cool and have stayed boxed up in my basement ...for about 10+ years!
    As someone who has been inside all 3 buildings, I can say: all 3 places are a mess. If L&I wanted to shut them down, they could.
    I guess a $1000 bribe is probably cheaper than paying off one's $600,000+ debt on a property. ...just speculating of course...
    Contact:
    SwingDJ@Gmail.com
    215-913-7794

  18. #18
    sanspoint is offline Senior Member
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    The more I think about it, the more I think I'd rather have a smoldering empty pit on that corner than Watusi II.

  19. #19
    fuzzycraig is offline Member
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    Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Greg. If people are serious about shutting this place down, I would love to meet and talk strategy. I'm in the dark with the legal end of this myself, but am eager to help out in any way I can.

  20. #20
    annie's Avatar
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    Neighbors: West Philly pub is a problem

    L&I still has an open case against Karasanyi for property maintenance issues, including fire code violations. Kennedy said the department is waiting for a court date since Karasanyi has yet to comply.

    Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said she’s heard that both Watusi I and II are nuisances. After we called, she said she reminded Karasanyi that his bar and its patrons must respect the neighborhood. She’s known Karasanyi for a long time, she said. According to campaign finance records, Karasanyi donated $1,000 to Blackwell last December, shortly after Licenses and Inspections allowed his bar to re-open.

    Just when we were about to give up… It seemed like no city agency was going to take action on Watusi II anytime soon. But then the Revenue Department told us Karasanyi had broken his payment agreement. The Law Department is now taking steps to bring the property to Sheriff sale, and it should be listed in June or July.

 

 

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