Apparently we weren’t the only ones surprised by yesterday’s announcement that Fork & Barrel called it quits Monday night. According to the Insider, the closing came as a complete surprise to the bar and restaurant’s landlord, East Falls developer Mark Sherman. In a statement issued yesterday, Sherman said Fork & Barrel owners “Matthew Swartz and Matthew Scheller abruptly vacated the premises without any prior notice.” Amid the myriad of claims from alleged former employees, alluding to everything from bounced paychecks and outstanding back rent at both businesses to a mountain of debt owed to vendors and purveyors, left on the Foobooz post that originally broke the news, Tap & Table, the gastropub owned by Swartz and Scheller in Emmaus, PA, also closed abruptly overnight without any prior notice.
The plot of this mystery thickens, courtesy of veteran beer scribe Jack Curtin, who posted yesterday on his blog that the owners never delivered on two other restaurants in New Hope and Bethlehem, and closed another unexpectedly last summer in Rehoboth, DE with little explanation. We suspect that this isn't the last we'll hear of all this drama.
Earlier: Say So Long to Fork & Barrel