So, remember like a YEAR ago when I said that the owner of the Hawthorne House set fire to his own bar to collect the insurance money?
Well, I’m not going to toot my own horn but.
Actually, I’d like it better if I was able to buzz my own vuvuzela.
The owner of the Hawthorne House Bar and Grill in Bethlehem, which was damaged badly in a fire last year, was charged Tuesday with setting the fire himself.
John Margetis, (FACEBOOK PROFILE) 31, of 1912 Hart St., Bethlehem, was arraigned before District Judge Roy Manwaring on two arson charges, both felonies, in the 3 a.m. July 25, 2009, blaze.
In charging Margetis, police investigators said he set the fire in order to avoid mounting financial problems related to the 702 Hawthorne Road tavern, for which he paid $400,000 in 2008.
Days after the fire, which started in a second-floor office, city Fire Marshal Robert Novatnack ruled it an arson. He estimated the damage at $250,000.
wo people lived in second-floor apartments, but no one was injured.
Margetis was released on $100,000 bail. Source
Whatever, debt sucks and I can understand that this guy probably just wanted to cut his losses… which isn’t an excuse as much as a reason. But, fuck man, people LIVED in there? That’s not cool. I seem to remember it being said that he made sure they were out or something, but still. This was a pretty obvious arson from the get go.
The thing that sucks is that Hawthorne was a nice Bethlehem gem, away from the main drag of bars and restaurants but just close enough that it was a downtown alternative.
Hopefully, someone has enough financial wiggle room to get this place up and running again.