WASHINGTON — Things aren’t clear as to what will happen to the Black Buggy Restaurant, but as for now the Amish buffet and a nearby cafe and steakhouse is closed.
The owners of the building, Laverne and Rosie Graber, entered the restaurant at 8:51 p.m. Monday and, according to a police report, told everyone to go home and the businesses were closed. They then had the restaurant manager take the money, $755, from the cash drawer and count it out for Mrs. Graber.
Police were called and found Laverne Graber was hiding in the locked restaurant. Police waited at the scene for 20 minutes before Graber gave the money over to Mike Shartzer, who, along with his partner Matt Graber, has been leasing the 12-year-old business for the past three months.
Laverne and Rosie Graber were told by police to not return to the property without Shartzer’s or Matt Graber’s permission. Matt and Laverne Graber are brothers.
On Tuesday, Laverne Graber said Monday’s police confrontation was a misunderstanding, as his wife had given the lessees start-up money back in June and was just getting that money back.
“We didn’t close it,” Laverne said about the business. “Business has been bad for three years. They (Shartzer and Matt Graber) decided to close the three (Washington restaurants) down and go to Jasper.”
Laverne Graber said he opened restaurants in Jasper and French Lick ,and the two partners had been leasing them as well.
“All I did, after they closed (Monday), was I went in to make sure they (employees) didn’t take anything,” Laverne Graber said of the local restaurant. He said he had heard the employees were going to take everything since the restaurant was closing.
On Tuesday, Shartzer said he and Matt Graber will continue to lease and run the Jasper restaurant named Mike and Matt’s.