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Pittsburgh area bars shut down for not paying drink tax



PITTSBURGH,None - Pittsburgh area bars are being shut down for not paying their drink taxes.

A locksmith was ordered by the courts to shut down the Steel City Saloon, a popular night spot at Century III Mall.

It was padlocked on Thursday with a bright orange placard stuck on the front door, telling patrons the saloon was shut down for not paying $10,000 in drink tax. 

"We've reached out to all these bar owners and basically pleaded with them to work with us.  Some of them have just blatantly refused,” said Allegheny County treasurer John Weinstein.

Next, deputies hit the Halfway House Bar in West Deer.  It was shut down for not paying $12,000 in drink tax.

The Brothers Grimm in Coraopolis escaped shutdown after making a $4,500 payment.

The Retreat in McKeesport owed $31,000 but declared bankruptcy to avoid payment. 

In the last two years, 25 bars have been closed down by Weinstein and more than a million dollars in owed drink tax was recovered.

"The last thing we want to do is shut a bar down, but this is what you have to do to get their attention and to get the money,” said Weinstein.

Weinstein's message to bar owners who are running behind in paying the drink tax:  Contact his office for an easy repayment plan.