PIQUA — Mixed reviews from the Fort Piqua Plaza banquet center revealed “very satisfied” customers along with “very dissatisfied” customers with allegations of “unprofessional” behavior in regard to Mulligan’s Pub, and financial reports and letters revealed disputes between which entity was responsible for costs of repairs.
Renters of the banquet center were required to use Mulligan’s Pub as their alcohol vendor if they wanted to serve alcohol at an event in the banquet center as part of Mulligan’s Pub’s contract with the city of Piqua.
The city of Piqua provided 28 Fort Piqua Plaza rental questionnaires from renters of the banquet center and the fourth floor from 2017 and 2018 following a public records request in regard to documents in reference to the city not renewing its lease with Mulligan’s Pub. All names and dates, other than the year, were redacted.
Mixed reviews revealed
Customers were asked to mark whether they were “very satisfied,” “satisfied,” “dissatisfied,” or “very dissatisfied” in regard to the alcohol service and then the alcohol cost, both from Mulligan’s Pub.
Out of 28 surveys, seven were marked “very satisfied” for both categories of alcohol service and alcohol cost. An additional four surveys marked “very satisfied” for the alcohol service.
Positive remarks, including a couple who used Mulligan’s Pub as their caterer, said, “Food was awesome — staff was great” as well as “Bartenders were fantastic!”
Four surveys marked “satisfied” for both categories with three marked “satisfied” with just the alcohol service and three marked “satisfied” with just the cost.
Three surveys marked “dissatisfied” for both categories with one “dissatisfied” with just the alcohol service and four “dissatisfied” with the alcohol cost.
Two surveys marked “very dissatisfied” for both categories, and one marked “very dissatisfied” for just the alcohol cost.
Two surveys did not rate the alcohol cost, and one did not rate the service.
Three surveys marked that those categories were not applicable to them.
Customer notes negative experience
Survey results from the Fort Piqua Plaza banquet center revealed one customer made allegations that an employee from Mulligan’s Pub searched their purses and bags without their permission during a wedding reception, according to the city of Piqua’s records.
The customer made the allegations that the Mulligan’s Pub employee “thought it was a great idea to go through the personal bags and purses of the wedding party and/or any other guest that had their belongings in a secure room while everyone was eating at the reception,” according to city of Piqua records. The customer said that the Mulligan’s Pub employee confiscated a bottle of unopened wine that was to be a gift to the longest married couple in attendance at the wedding, stating it was a “customary family tradition.”
The customer said that the “biggest problem” was that the bags and purses that were allegedly searched contained personal information.
Mulligan’s Pub owner Jeff Cotner said that the wine was confiscated and put in the banquet coordinator’s office for the duration of the wedding in order to comply with state liquor laws where the only alcohol that could be present had to be from Mulligan’s Pub. Cotner said that they were able to retrieve it after the event and added that, with that instance, they had been drinking in a board room at one point.
The customer also noted that the bars were understaffed and closed early at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.
The same customer noted that these problems occurred during a staffing change with Mulligan’s Pub, saying that after the previous employee left Mulligan’s Pub, the new employee “had no current record of our alcohol quote/payments/information.” The customer noted that they “kept all receipts and was able to prove that we had paid.”
Three other customers made remarks about wanting another option other than Mulligan’s Pub for alcohol, another three customers made remarks that Mulligan’s Pub employees were unprofessional in some way, one was promised an extra bartender but only got one at their event, and four customers made remarks that the cost of the alcohol was high.
Another customer, who said they used Mulligan’s Pub as their caterer, wrote, “We had to do all of our own table cloths despite being told otherwise by Mulligan’s.” They noted that the “food was excellent” but that “they were very disorganized overall.” That customer also wrote earlier in the review that Mulligan’s Pub employees “argued who would do what clean-up openly in front of guests,” saying that behavior was “very unprofessional.”
Another customer remarked, “Dealing with the alcohol and Mulligan’s Pub was the only downfall.”
Another said that they were “very unhappy with Mulligan’s” and would recommend the facility or use it again “if we didn’t have to work with Mulligan’s,” according to city records.
Cotner addressed the complaints regarding cost, stating, “A lot of time passed between the start of the new pricing, being put on hold with the new pricing while we awaited the BOC (Banquet Oversight Committee) approval, and finally moving forward with the 2018 refreshment pricing after the final approval.” Cotner said that ‘there were some issues we took care of” and that they offered restitution to customers who believed that they were going to get 2017 pricing.
In a letter to the Banquet Oversight Committee dated June 29, 2018, a Mulligan’s Pub employee said that the previous pricing was set in 2015 and that they wanted to raise it due to product pricing and wage increases. The letter stated that they wanted to raise their unlimited top shelf package from $18.75 per person for 80 percent of the total guest list to $22.50 per person at the same 80 percent of the total guest list.
Cotner noted that, due to the city’s redactions, “it makes it hard to address each one (comment) effectively.” Cotner did dispute the claim of one customer saying they were short a bartender, saying that he was present and was one of the people serving wine.
Owner disputes outstanding monies
A public records request to the city of Piqua also showed that the city is claiming that Mulligan’s Pub owes outstanding monies totaling approximately $4,365.
Financial reports provided note an approximate total of $1,347 in costs owed to the city for a repaired front door lock at Mulligan’s Pub, window cleaning, an after hours call from Applied Mechanical for a heating issue, and approximately $878 shorted on rent for equipment repairs.
Cotner provided a letter from Nov. 20 disputing charges of the window cleaning and the after hours call from the Applied Mechanical, saying that they already had their own window cleaning service and claiming that the heating issue was a problem with the building. The Mulligan’s Pub employee wrote, “Temperature issues have been a problem since we have been in this building with it being either too cold or too warm … We have had to seize operating on at least one documented occasion this year because of this.”
According to Mulligan’s Pub’s lease with the city, repairs for the “heating and air conditioning facilities and equipment serving on Lessee’s space” are the responsibilities of Mulligan’s Pub, the lessee, while “regular maintenance of the servicing of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and equipment” would be contracted through the city, and Mulligan’s Pub would be charged a prorated amount based on square footage.
The city also noted that they were shorted approximately $878 on rent for equipment for repairs to kitchen equipment. Mulligan’s Pub’s lease stated, “Prior to maintenance on any fixture or kitchen appliance that is owned by Lessor, Lessee shall notify Lessor and a plan shall be established as to whether the piece of equipment shall be repaired or replaced based on economics.” It went on to say, “Should the parties decide that the appliance is to be repaired, the parties shall each pay 50 (percent) of the repair costs. The parties shall agree on who will be hired for the repair.”
It is unclear if the city was given prior notice or input on claims of kitchen equipment repairs.
Owner remarks on two-weeks notice
“I am fine with the city not expressing an interest in renewing the space to Mulligan’s Pub as I do not want to be anywhere that I am not wanted,” Cotner said in a statement provided over the weekend. He said that he found the city’s handling of the situation “disturbing,” noting the notice that he was given.
“I was informed via email with only two weeks left on my current lease that I would have to vacate the premises,” Cotner said.
He said that City Manager Gary Huff declined to meet with Cotner to discuss the situation with him.
“I wish the city would have had more respect for Mulligan’s Pub and the employees, most of which reside in Piqua,” Cotner said.
Cotner said that, prior to the last lease signed on Dec. 22, 2016, he has always signed a one-year lease with the city.
“We always signed the leases at the end of the term to discuss any issues either party would like to change going forward. The last least was signed for two years to ensure the completion of the new patio project that the city never started,” Cotner said.
Cotner added later on that he has not met with or had any discussions with the city “in months” and “had no reason to believe they would not go forward with a new lease.”
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org