"You spend $250,000 and 20 years of your life, and you get back maybe $10,000." That was Burke Shethar's reaction Tuesday after an auction of furnishings and fixtures at the Madrona Ale House. The decorative tap handles, a kitchen mixer, the hood, the walk-in. "Pennies on the dollar," he lamented, shaking his head.
In the turbulent days preceding the auction, it appeared that a Madrona couple, Peter and Adrianna Johnson, would be taking over the business. The Johnsons own three other taverns, in the U District, Capitol Hill and Madison Park, but they did not purchase the Madrona Ale House itself, or its name, or the website. Certainly not the liquor license.
Instead, they simply signed a new lease with the landlord. But they cannot operate the business without a new name, new permits, and, most critically, a new liquor license. Worst case, 90 days; best case 45 days. Meantime, the Ale House is closed for good.