Avram Hornik, who built up an empire of bars and music venues over the last 15 years, is selling his interest in five properties, including Union Transfer and Boot & Saddle.

Expect little change as the buyers are the longtime managers, operating under Hornik's Four Corners Management.

Hornik's 1996 opening of Quarry Street Cafe, followed by Custom House Cafe two years later, got him a taste of the business. Then he moved into the bar scene with such spots - all gone now - as Butter/Proto Lounge, SoMa, Lucy's Hat Shop, Bar Noir, and Loie.
Now he seems a tad bored. 
"Any restaurant location benefits from having a passionate and talented person solely dedicated to that operation," Hornik said. "In turning these locations over to those capable operators, it ensures both their continued long-term success and frees up my time and resources to focus on new harebrained projects."

Hornik said he would keep the seasonal Morgan's Pier on the Delaware River, William Street Common, an indoor beer garden at 39th and Chestnut Streets, and the Dolphin Tavern on Broad Street near Tasker.

One deal, in which Kyle Costill bought Ortlieb's in Northern Liberties, was just completed. Costill, who took over as Ortlieb's manager three years ago, revamped the look, the live music, and the sound system, and added an easy-to-manage Mexican menu.

Pending various approvals are Sean Agnew and Mark Fichera's impending purchase of Hornik's interest in Union Transfer, the bar/music venue on Spring Garden Street near 11th, and South Philadelphia's Boot & Saddle, a bar/music venue on Broad Street near Ellsworth.

Agnew and Fichera were part-owners of those venues and Bowery Presents, the concert promotion and venue management organization, since the beginning. Agnew said nothing would change.

Manager Joe Crouse is poised to buy Drinker's Pub at 1903 Chestnut St., and Tom "Doc" Dougherty is the prospective owner of Drinker's Tavern at 124 Market St. in Old City.