Behind in Rent, Fifth Floor Restaurant Will Close

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Fifth Floor restaurant downtown will close Sept. 28, the direct result of failing to pay its rent and related bills.

The restaurant opened in April 2015 in the Commerce Building space formerly occupied by Youngstown Club. Its operator, George Guarnieri, previously operated the Belleria Pizza franchise in Struthers for 17 years.

The Commerce Building is owned by Ohio One Corp., which filed an eviction notice and civil complaint Aug. 30 against Guarnieri and The Fifth Floor. The complaint, filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, listed unpaid rent of $25,140.41 dating back to April, as well as $7,704.65 owed for security services and $2,269.48 in unpaid water bills.

Guarnieri attributed the restaurant’s financial difficulties to inconsistent patronage – plenty of customers when concerts and other events were held downtown as well as for private parties but low volume all other times. The Fifth Floor was open for lunch and dinner weekdays and for dinner on Saturday.

Guarnieri and Ohio One Corp. each made substantial investments in the fifth-floor property. Guarnieri purchased the liquor license from Ohio One, took over the space in October 2014 and completely updated the kitchen while Ohio One replaced the heating and air conditioning.

The Youngstown Club occupied the Commerce Building’s fifth and fourth floors; it closed Jan. 1, 2013. At the time, the private club was heavily in debt to Ohio One Corp., which was unable to recoup a substantial loss, sources say.

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