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Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 04:38 pm

Barrel Head closes

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PHOTO BY DAVID HINE

The Barrel Head, a popular tavern at 1577 W. Wabash in Jerome, has shut down amid a foreclosure battle with Illinois National Bank.

A closed sign appeared on the tavern door on Labor Day weekend and remained there on Tuesday. Owner Kevin Davlin, brother of the late Springfield mayor, could not be reached for comment.

Davlin didn’t pay the bar’s property taxes last year, and property taxes due Sept. 2 also have not been paid, according to Sangamon County records. Chantilly Lace, another bar owned by Davlin, closed in 2009 and remains for sale. In addition to the Barrel Head, the bank has filed a foreclosure action against Chantilly Lace, where property taxes are also in arrears.

Davlin was due for a Wednesday hearing to declare his assets, although such proceedings are typically held outside courtrooms. The hearing comes after the bank in June won a judgment of nearly $1.4 million, an amount that includes interest and legal fees, according to a foreclosure file that has swelled to the size of a small telephone book.

After the bank won its judgment, Davlin in July said that the bank shouldn’t be allowed to foreclose because The Barrel Head is his principal residence. The bank has not mailed him proper notice, which is required when a lender forecloses on residential property, Davlin says in a motion to dismiss the foreclosure.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Schmidt on Aug. 26 rejected Davlin’s argument after the bank filed a response, including paperwork showing that Davlin is registered to vote in Colorado.

However, Davlin is also registered to vote in Sangamon County, where records in the county clerk’s office show that he changed his address to The Barrel Head in June, five months after the bank sued to collect on a delinquent loan of nearly $1.3 million. The bank also filed an affidavit from Harry Stirmell, president of the Jerome village board, who says that he told Davlin five years ago that The Barrel Head could not be used as a home.

County Clerk Joe Aiello said it is not necessarily illegal to be registered to vote in two states, but there would be a problem if someone voted twice in the same election. He added that voters must live in their county of residence for 30 days prior to an election in which they cast ballots. The bank in court documents says that Davlin in June got an Illinois driver’s license stating that The Barrel Head is his address.

Wherever Davlin might live, he was difficult to find when the bank tried serving him with the foreclosure action earlier this year. A process server filed a court affidavit in March, saying that he couldn’t find Davlin and that a Barrel Head bartender told him that Davlin had been spending a lot of time in Ireland.

Timothy Rigby, attorney for Illinois National Bank, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.

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