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Longhorn sold in foreclosure

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Photo by Sandy Wolfe
Just a few days after the Longhorn Saloon complex was sold at a foreclosure sale, cabins erected by former owner Brian Black were removed from the property. The new owner indicated to the Courier that the prime riverfront complex remains for sale.

Despite an announcement published in an article in the Courier just two weeks ago, Bandera’s Longhorn Saloon, has not been sold to an investment group from Austin. However, the once-popular watering hole did change hands recently – in a foreclosure auction on Tuesday, May 3.
The sale, which occurred at 10:45 am, was later confirmed in an interview with Bruce Neyland, attorney for the purchasers, Ohio residents Tim Tucker and his wife, Pam. According to Neyland, several years ago, Tucker had advanced former saloon owner Brian Black the funds to purchase the property located at 1307 Main Street. Now, Tucker’s gotten back his property and payments made by Black in the interim.
According to Wendy Grams, chief appraiser for the Central Appraisal District, commercial and residential properties at 1303 and 1307 Main Street amount to 3.86 acres with frontage on the Medina River. The property has been appraised for $596,360. Black reportedly paid $525,000 for the parcel.
In a telephone interview, Neyland explained that his client “had held the first lien position on the purchase money lien.” The attorney also said Tucker had offered $425,000 for the property, and that he was the only person who bid.
According to Bandera Tax Assessor-Collector Gwenda Tshirhart, PCC, a little more than $84,000 in taxes is still owned on the property to county taxing entities.
In January, Bandera County officials had seized and closed the Longhorn Saloon for unpaid taxes. At that time, Tschirhart noted that local suits against Black had been reactivated after she learned that bankruptcy proceedings filed by the couple in federal court had been dismissed.
County officials had initiated seizure proceedings in 2013. “However, within one week, we received a bankruptcy notice, which meant the county was no longer able to proceed,” Tschirhart explained. “Bankruptcy protects the people involved and puts local seizure matters on hold.” The bankruptcy dismissal enabled the county to proceed with suits against the businesses – the bar and a tube rental operation. Accordingly, Tschirhart followed procedures as set out in the Texas Property Tax Code.
However, less than 24 hours after the buildings were padlocked, Tschirhart received a certified cashiers check for $9,551. “The back taxes and fees were paid in full on both businesses, including the furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory,” she said.
Bandera County had no hand in the foreclosure sale that occurred last week – despite the taxes still owed.
In a May 28 edition, the Courier used information supplied by Black in an email to report that an “investment group from Austin” had purchased the saloon.
Additionally, Black noted that the business was “closed temporarily” to enable the new owners to remodel the premises. According to Black, after completing the renovations, the “investment group” intended to “lease the building to an individual or company to operate a full service bar.” Or, he wrote, it might reopen as the Longhorn Saloon.
Prior to the foreclosure sale, rumors swirled that the interior of the bar had been stripped of all viable equipment. However, Neyland said that during a walk-through before the sale, that hadn’t been the case.
In an interview on Monday, May 9, Black emphasized that the property and buildings had been included in the foreclosure sale, but not The Longhorn Saloon business. Additionally, he still owns a tubing business located on the premises, the Medina River Company.
“We’ll stay in the house on the property as long the river is still running,” Black said. After that, he anticipates relocating to a local RV park where the couple will live until Charlotte Browning-Black finishes her term on Bandera City Council. Her term expires in November.
“We want to thank Bandera for everything and we appreciate the support,” Black said.
In response, property owner Tim Tucker wrote on Tuesday, May 10, that he had given Black permission to operate the Medina River Company through Saturday, May 28, “… at which time he is to be off the property.”
Tucker continued, “The entire property is now for sale; therefore, Brian has no place to house the Medina River Company.” Tucker has also given Black time to sell items stored in the warehouse on the property and pack up household goods before vacating the property.
Reyland noted, “We worked for a long time with Mr. Black about this and we’re sorry it had to come to this.” To a query about the property’s ultimate disposition, Neyland replied, “All offers to purchase the property will be reviewed.”
Echoing his attorney’s sentiment, Tucker wrote in an earlier email, “While we certainly regret the circumstances surrounding the Longhorn Saloon saga, we want everyone to know that the property is for sale by us. We hope the future owners will realize the great potential of this beautiful property in Bandera.”