Former Pottsville Club Changing Hands – New Owner’s Controversial #MeToo Past
The former Pottsville Club property is changing hands once again.
According to a Facebook post from “The Lodge at Sharp Mountain”, Pottsville native and controversial Philadelphia chef Chris Painter agreed to buy the restaurant immediately.
In a follow-up post, the restaurant notes that it’s closed for a “scheduled vacation”.
The post reads:
“We are pleased to announce The Lodge at Sharp Mountain has been sold to Pottsville Native Chris Painter effective immediately. A press release will be announced in the near future. Please be assured that all events that were previously booked will be honored to the best of our ability. Please send any questions to … email@example.com.”
Comments to the post remain mostly positive. Some have questions regarding events already scheduled at the former Pottsville Club. And at least one comment discussed Painter’s recent controversies in Philadelphia, where he was once a celebrated chef.
Former Pottsville Club Sold … Again
Painter will be the fifth owner of the former Pottsville Club property since 2014.
In 2014, the 11-acre property at 201 South 26th St. was still known as The Pottsville Club. However, in February, it was “sold” to Miners Bank for $1,418.05, according to Schuylkill Parcel Locator.
The bank sold it at the end of 2014 to the Pottsville Redevelopment Authority for $1. The Redevelopment Authority sat on it for about 18 months before selling to Maley Family Properties LLC in May 2016 for $230,000.
Tuesday’s announced sale comes nearly 45 years after the original Pottsville Club building, the stuff of John O’Hara legend, burned in an arson fire in 1974. That Pottsville Club was located at 314 Mahantongo Street and is now … a parking lot.
New Chef-Owner Chris Painter and the #MeToo Movement
As noted, the reported new chef and owner of The Lodge at Sharp Mountain is Pottsville native Chris Painter.
Painter burst onto the vibrant Philadelphia restaurant scene a few years ago to rave reviews. He worked for Starr Restaurant Organization in Philadelphia before co-founding Il Pittore restaurant. According to Eater.com, the restaurant was named one of Philly’s 50 best restaurants by Philadephia Magazine each year it was open.
But it closed unexpectedly in 2016 as Painter pursued another venture. That’s when he became a partner at Method Hospitality and chef at the company’s Wm. Mulherin’s Sons restaurant in Fishtown section of Philadelphia.
However, in March 2018, allegations of sexual harassment were lodged with company management against Painter. Apparently, these allegations dated back to 2016, just after Painter started at the new restaurant.
Servers, mostly, said Painter said and acted inappropriately toward them in the workplace. On March 1, according to PhillyMag.com, Painter got suspended for 2 weeks over the allegations. Two weeks later, he was fired.
A year before he got fired, Painter was relegated to weekend duty as chef at Wm Mulherin’s Sons restaurant following a reported after-hours incident with another employee, PhillyMag reports.
There are no details on that incident but some of the employees at that restaurant detailed what Painter allegedly said and did to them:
Painter has not spoken publicly on these allegations. A former server recently filed a harassment lawsuit against Method Hospitality, of which Painter was a partner. And another lawsuit was filed claiming the company skimmed tips.
Regarding any of these claims, as per Canary policy, they’re merely claims and allegations. We do not take a #BelieveAllWomen or #BelieveAllMen stance. We’re just putting this information together that’s widely available.