Chaos Erupts in Local Bar After Property Owner Disconnects Power
HUDSON (PASCO) – Patrons of a local Bar & Grill were left literally sitting in the dark Saturday night and it wasn’t because management hailed “last call for alcohol.” That according to several disgruntled customers of the now closed BB Magee’s Bar & Grill, located at 12400 County Line Road.
According to bar owners, Scott and Kathy Dewey, it was a packed house Saturday night with around 200 patrons enjoying drinks, live music, and shooting pool. Around midnight, and completely without warning, the power shut off. Turns out, the building’s owner Devin Tocco who also owns Opinion’s Lounge in Brooksville, cut the power – believing that the Dewey’s lease had officially expired.
The move sparked a near brawl between bar patrons and Tocco’s entourage, which included Tocco’s personal attorney. Sheriff’s Deputies from Hernando and Pasco responded to the scene to prevent physical altercations and they also forced Tocco to immediately turn the power back on.
We spoke to Scott Dewey by phone today and he says Tocco most likely violated several Florida Statutes and regarding disputes between landlords and tenants.
According to Florida Statute 83.67, A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall not cause, directly or indirectly, the termination or interruption of any utility service furnished the tenant, including, but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, elevator, garbage collection, or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of, or payment is made by, the landlord.
Dewey also says his lease did not officially end until August 1st, not on July 30th as Tocco claims. He also says that Tocco did not follow proper eviction procedures and that he actually has documentation that would allow him to stay another 30 days if desired, but that wasn’t his plan, says Dewey.
Dewey says after he and his staff cleaned the bar and was out of the building within 6-hours following the incident.
I spoke with Devin Tocco in person today and he claims that Dewey overstayed his lease and that he was warned to vacate the night before. Tocco believes he was within his right to disconnect the power but says he voluntarily reconnected it when law enforcement arrived.
Devin says Dewey owes him “a lot of money” and that he destroyed the bar before leaving on Sunday morning. I asked if he would show me the damage or explain what was destroyed but he was reluctant to comment further.
Dewey says he’s already secured a lease at the former Handle Bar venue, located at 16406 U.S. 19, and plans to reopen as soon as possible.
Tocco plans to open his second Opinion’s Lounge at the former BB’s location in the coming weeks.
It should be noted that Tocco served less than two years behind bars, after pleading guilty to a 2009 charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death in Citrus County. After his release in 2013, Tocco began serving 5 years of felony probation. Before completing the terms of his probation, Tocco was arrested again last July for his third DUI. Judge Kurt Hitzemann sentenced Tocco to just one year of probation, which was terminated in June of this year.
UPDATE: 8/2/2016, 8:52 A.M. – Several viewers have voiced concerns over the ownership of Opinions Lounge’ liquor license. In Florida it is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a liquor license. There are reports that a family member currently holds the license.
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