Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
LLC seeks to reopen restaurant
By William Kincaid
CELINA - The former Breakaway RecPlex that closed in July 2009 may reopen, at least in part as a restaurant and/or bar by a new owner, according to city officials.
City council members on Monday night offered no objections to a new liquor license permit application by Holiday Sports LLC, 6301 U.S. 127, to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. Mayor Jeff Hazel confirmed the site as the former Breakaway RecPlex. The business' active CEO is listed as John Chilimigras.
Moreover, county records show that the property now belongs to James, Roberta and John Chilimigras.
Holiday Sports is seeking D5 and D6 liquor permits, which would allow for the sale of spiritous liquor for on-premises consumption and beer and wine on-premises consumption and off-premise in the original sealed containers until 2:30 a.m., according to police chief Tom Wale. The D6 permit, he added, would allow for Sunday sales.
"They're just asking to be able to operate as a bar, and the people could carry out the beer as well as long as it's still sealed," Wale said. "Pretty much a typical bar, and they want Sunday sales as well."
Council members took no action on the application, meaning it will move ahead to the state without a city request for a hearing.
Councilman June Scott asked where the bar will be located within the facility.
"It's behind the pool," councilman Mark Fleck said. "The pool will be eliminated, but it's going to be behind (that)."
"So it's where the old restaurant used to be," Scott said.
"But they've also got an upper area they've looked at as well," Hazel pointed out.
Hazel said he's met with the owner about three times.
"They've kind of tossed around various ideas," he said. "He is a successful developer down south and he wants to do something with it up here, and I think one of the areas he's looking for was liquor sales and a restaurant."
"I don't think he's got completely firmed up with everything that he would like to do in there but that would be one of these items that he wants to do now," he continued.
Fleck said he's excited about the prospect of the facility opening back up, especially since it hasn't been "doing anything for a long time."
"With the amount of money that (the owner's) wanting to put into that, I would think he would make a pretty good operation (with) a bar and restaurant as well," Fleck said.
Councilman Myron Buxton asked if there's a maximum number of liquor licenses allowed in the county.
Hazel said a maximum limit is set and noted Holiday Sports LLC is seeking a new permit, not a transfer.
"He's not doing anything to our knowledge to transfer from somewhere else so it does look like it would be a new one," Hazel said.
When C-Town Wings moved its new building on Havemann Road, the owners got a new liquor license but also retained the existing liquor license at the former downtown location, Hazel pointed out.
"But it was based on spending over $750,000 (on the new building)," Hazel said.
The fitness center on U.S. 127 at one time included an indoor soccer field, basketball, tennis and racquetball courts and restaurant and more than 21.2 acres. It was reportedly sold at a public auction in December.
Breakaway RecPlex's previous owner, Tom Case, died Dec. 31, 2011, in Celina.
Case of Bluffton, Indiana, sued the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2005 for flood damage the fitness facility had sustained in 2003. The facility has been closed since July 2009.
Case in 2008 was awarded $3.3 million in damages. He had sued for $5.2 million. He appealed, seeking more money, and the court in early 2011 lowered the amount to $2.6 million.
In July 2003, historic rainfall caused Grand Lake and Beaver Creek, which lies just north of the RecPlex, to overflow. The entire area around and inside the fitness facility was flooded. The complex was closed for several months while it underwent major repairs and eventually was reopened with Case's daughter Cheri Kraska helping with operations. When it closed in 2009, Case cited cash-flow problems related to the flood.
In September 2010, the facility was put up for sheriff's sale, but the sale was canceled about a month later after Case came up with funding. He also announced he planned to reopen the business and change its name to West Ohio Fit and Fun, but it has never reopened.