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Two and a half years after it reopened in a new space just around the corner from its original location, Old City mainstay Irish Pol at 114 Market St. has closed for good.
Owner Darin Urbaczewski announced the closure in a Facebook post Tuesday without noting a specific reason. “It was time,” he wrote, “and life is pulling me in a different direction.”
He also noted that “I hate that I had to do it the way I did,” a statement that seemed likely a reference to his springing news of the shutdown on staff without any warning.
The Irish Pol Instagram account had posted as recently as last Thursday (“Happy Thanksgiving”) and one former employee said they were chatting with one of the bar’s GMs — brothers Chris and Mike Hans took over day-to-day operations last November — about their plans for the future as recently as last week.
“I would say it came as a shock for everyone,” said the former staffer, who asked to remain anonymous.
However, there were some recent signs of trouble at the bar, which was well known for its hot mustard wings. Regulars had spotted a “For Sale” sign on the building (word is Urbaczewski put it on the market back in July), and at the beginning of the month, the tavern was briefly shut down by the city with a cease operations notice.
“The cease-op was posted…pursuant to the City’s Commercial Activity License Revocation Program (CAL REV) for unpaid/unfiled business taxes,” city spokesperson Mike Dunn told Billy Penn on Nov. 3. “Staff is in contact with the taxpayer and their representative, and we have told them what is needed in order to reopen.”
A search through Philadelphia Department of Revenue delinquencies showed a total of $17,452 owed for the 114 Market St. property for the 2016 tax period. The property is officially owned by URBS, LLC.
Per staffers, the move to the new space from the bar’s original home at 45 S. Third St. did put a dent in business, but it had been picking up since the Hans brothers came in a year ago.
A fundraiser for out-of-work former employees has been organized for Thursday, Dec. 7, at Lorraine, a West Poplar pub. There will be raffles for prizes and donations will be accepted.