Last month, we reported that Philadelphia pays the utility bills for some lucky non-profits. Now, as it turns out, the city has picked up the tab for one business too. You can listen to our WHYY story about this, or read about it in our Daily News article below:
When “It’s Our Money” started asking questions in March, officials insisted that the city doesn’t pay utility bills for Water Works Restaurant & Lounge, a private business owned by the politically-connected Michael Karloutsos.
The high-end eatery leases space in a historic city-owned building near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It has crystal chandeliers, $39 dinner entrées, and an outdoor deck with a stunning view of the Schuylkill River.
Why would the fancy place need taxpayers to cover its bills? Robert Allen, Parks & Recreation’s property and concessions management director, initially said the city wasn’t and first deputy commissioner Mark Focht said he didn’t “know of any facilities in Parks & Recreation’s system where the city is paying utilities for for-profits.”
But, after probing by “It’s Our Money,” the city has acknowledged that taxpayers have footed the hefty bill for Water Works Restaurant for the majority of its six-year existence and the Nutter administration has launched an investigation.