Lawsuit brews around shuttered Irish pub in El Dorado Hills

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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Less than a year after the Irish Pub Kinnee O’Reilly’s opened its doors in the Montana de El Dorado center in El Dorado Hills, it has closed. Many were surprised by the sudden closure. Would-be customers were greeted last week by a sign on the door simply stating the restaurant was closed. “I am a bit surprised,” said Ken Walden, who stopped by for lunch. “I thought things were going pretty good for them. I liked the place, but it’s a risky venture to start a restaurant in this (economic) climate.” The decision to close was reportedly due to “a family crises” and the owners, David and Betsy Wohler, worked with the landlord prior to the shuttering of the business. Calls to Betsy Wohler were not returned as of press time. The number listed on the restaurant’s website was “no longer in service,” earlier this month. Vinal Perkins, of Montana de El Dorado, said a personal family crisis shifted the couples’ focus from the business to family. “The official story is that (Kinnee O’Reilly’s) principals found themselves in personal family crisis and the family crisis is basically going to take them some time,” Perkins said in a recent phone interview. “The focus is more important than the restaurant.” He said the closing was anticipated. “The closing was known by the landlord and the tenant,” Perkins said. “During the closing we have been communicative and friendly.” The closing may have been anticipated, but there is speculation about the reasoning behind the closing. Workers were seen earlier this month removing restaurant equipment from the establishment and a suit has been filed against the owners. Court documents obtained by the Telegraph show the restaurant supply company, Edward Don & Co., Inc., filed suit against the restaurant and the Wohlers. The documents, filed June 21 in El Dorado County Superior Court, clam suit based on a failure to pay more the $16,000 for “goods sold.” The suit states that on or about Sept. 26, 2011, before the restaurant opened, demand was made for payment. As of the date of the filing of the court documents, the defendants allegedly had not paid “any part thereof,” of what is owed. The plaintiffs are seeking damages in the amount of $16,542.17, interest of 18 percent, attorney fees of $4,250 and any “further relief” the court may deem “just and proper.” There is no word yet from property management if the space will be taken over by a new restaurant. “At this time the landlord has elected not to speak to any other restaurants. This may happen in the near future,” Perkins said. He added that he and the landlords want the best for the Wohlers in the future. “We are compassionate about their circumstances and are doing everything we can to work with them,” Perkins said.