After shutting down for what was to be a week’s renovations, Mike Naessens has chosen to close Eulogy Belgian Tavern for good after 15 years at 136 Chestnut St. in Old City. In short, he’s concerned for his safety.
Over a two-year span, Naessans said Friday, three employees at the bar — known for its collection of 400 beers and its quirky decor — became caught up in drug or criminal charges and either walked off the job or were fired. Naessans said he worked with prosecutors on all three cases, which he said prompted threats from the people involved and no police protection.
Naessans said one employee, fired after submitting a false résumé, was growing marijuana in Kensington. Naessans filed an affidavit in the case detailing the threats he said he received. A second employee, who Naessans said also struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was fired and charged after stealing checks from Eulogy. Most recently, Naessans said. a female employee who was a heroin user stole nearly $5,000 and Naessans’ gun from the bar. The employee and her boyfriend were released on bail, Naessans said.
“I just got tired of this,” he said. “More and more, people you try to get in for interviews, you can tell they’re on something, and it’s just not worth it anymore. You’ve got a vetting process, but not too many people are applying as it is, and when you do get them in, your sense is it’s going to be a problem, but you need a warm body, and then, sure enough, it causes chaos.”
Naessens, a certified public accountant, said he had moved out of state and would return to the finance world.
Eulogy was a great place; the second of two of my favorite Old City taverns that have closed in the past few years. I always enjoyed grabbing the second floor table at Eulogy near the coffin with plastic skeleton and nursing a few good beers with friends. Memento mori.