Cork & Keg remains closed as negotiations with bank continue


Cork & Keg was closed last week but Tom Kitchin indicates negotiations are under way with State Bank and Trust, which Kitchin says was not interested in continuing to work with him.

A civil matter involving the bank finds Cork & Keg, located at 6750 Highway 53, Suite 101, in the Hometown Shopping Center, closed.

Yellow tape provides an indication that the store is closed, and neon lights, which usually advertise the brands of beverages available for sale, are not illuminated.

Braselton Police officers are being paid by State Bank and Trust Company in North Carolina for security detail to protect the inventory, according to Braselton Police Chief Terry Esco.

The department has been fielding numerous calls from citizens who are curious about the happenings.

“This is an unfortunate situation,” says Tom Kitchin of Cork & Keg, who indicates that talks are under way with the bank in an effort to find some resolution to the matter. Negotiations were ongoing last week and the Kitchins were allowed inside Cork & Keg to retrieve personal property.

Kitchin maintains Cork & Keg was current on its payments to State Bank and Trust.

“We are not in default on our loan,” said Kitchin, who indicates the loan matured and the bank officials determined they did not want to extend further credit.

Kitchin said it is difficult to find alternative financing as financial institutions are still reeling from the country’s economic meltdown.

Kitchin and limited liability companies he was affiliated with have other banking business with the same institution.

Notice of sale was given was given by State Bank and Trust Company which held the real estate deed from Liberty Walk LLC on a 6.75-acre parcel on Highway 53 adjacent to Liberty Crossing subdivision. Liberty Walk LLC had acquired the property on Jan. 31, 2007.

Mulberry Village LLC owned 4.064 acres of property located on Highway 124 which State Bank and Trust received by assignment when Security Bank of Gwinnett County was closed July 24, 2009, by the FDIC.

The sale for both Liberty Walk and Mulberry Village was advertised for Feb. 5.

Kitchins’ Jackson County projects have included the 31,000-square-foot Mulberry Walk Shopping Center on Highway 211 in Braselton, Traditions Walk at Ga. 124 just outside of Traditions of Braselton, and Hometown Walk, a 25,000-square-foot center adjacent to the Hometown Community Bank, which is now CERTUS Bank, after an FDIC closure.

Kitchin had been on the board of directors of Hometown Community Bank prior to its closure by the FDIC.

Kitchin indicates he wants to set the record straight after consultation with his attorney.