For the first time in 17 years, Bill Klinger answered the phone on Poplar Street with a solemn "Hello?" instead of a spirited "KClinger's!"
"Unfortunately, we closed on Saturday," he said.
Klinger, owner of the popular Hanover tavern at 304 Poplar St., spent most of Monday cleaning up nearly two decades worth of memories.
"It will take weeks," he said.
As he packs up almost 20 years, he's considering selling the business.
"It's only been a few days, so I don't have a price. But if someone wants to buy it ... yeah, it's for sale," he said.
Klinger confirmed the Internal Revenue Service recently seized the tavern's liquor license because of delinquent taxes, but declined further comment on the ongoing legal matter.
The IRS cannot confirm whether or not it stripped the license because it's a matter of disclosure, said David Stewart, IRS spokesman.
County records show about $20,000 is owed at the Poplar Street address.
And the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board confirmed KClinger's recently renewed its liquor license through Feb. 28, 2013, and was in good standing.
Support: What taxes and licenses don't reveal, however, is the outpouring of support from the pub's loyal patrons, the atmosphere created by bartenders who became friends, and the conversational tennis played over "great microbrews" and "the best crab dip," friends said on the tavern's Facebook page.
Some of those customers showed up Friday and Saturday, when the tavern was only permitted to serve food. They brought their own booze and continued celebrating 17 years of memories once the food ran out, Klinger said.
"It was a good response. Some of our first customers showed up," he said. "It's been a good 17 years. We met some really nice people, and that's something they can't take away from us."
-- Reach Candy Wood all at 505-5437 or email@example.com.
Hanover Chili Cookoff
The closing of KClinger's Tavern won't affect the popular chili cookoff in Hanover.
The Hanover Chili Cookoff is slated for 11 a.m. Sept. 2 at Good Field and will continue as planned, said Bill Klinger, owner of KClinger's Tavern and one of the organizers of the event.
At one time, the cookoff was held at KClinger's before it outgrew the space and ultimately moved to Good Field on North Forney Avenue.
In addition to plenty of chili, the event features cooking competitions and music while raising money for local charities.
For more information, visit www.hanoverchilicookoff.com.