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Centerville pub closed for good, owner says

Root 48 Tavern & Grille at 79 S. Main St. in Centerville has closed permanently, its founder and owner Keith Taylor said this afternoon.

Taylor said he started a new job two weeks ago and has decided to close the downtown Centerville restaurant and pub that he founded as Savona Restaurant and Wine Bar seven years ago. He declined to disclose his new employer or position.

The confirmation of Root 48’s closing came on the same day that the tavern’s landlord, KTLA Investments LLC, posted a “Notice to leave premises” eviction notice on the door to the leased restaurant, citing “failure to pay rent.”

Taylor said he never recovered financially from an incident in early 2013 in which a car that had already collided with another vehicle careened through an exterior wall of the restaurant. There were no injuries, but it took months to reopen the restaurant, and insurance did not cover all of his losses, Taylor said.

“I had to borrow money just to reopen,” Taylor said.

The restaurant owner decided to change the concept to a more casual eatery called “Twisted Root,” which opened following extensive repairs were completed in June 2013. But he was forced to change the name again, this time to Root 48, in early 2014 following a cease-and-desist letter from a Texas-based Twisted Root burger chain that had trademarked the “Twisted Root” name.

Root 48 was closed all of last week for what a sign on the door called a “staff vacation,” but the sign assured customers the pub would reopen Tuesday. Taylor said he was negotiating with two people to potentially take over the operations of the tavern, but those negotiations fell through.

“It’s closed, permanently,” he said of Root 48. “I could have kept going, but I was offered a job with good pay and good benefits.”

A man who was inside the restaurant this afternoon declined to comment on any aspect of the rent dispute or the closure.

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