The ridiculously shitty restaurant Water Works rang up more than $225,000 in electricity bills that Philly residents ended up paying. Owner Michael Karloutsos says he isn't responsible because the city didn't send him a bill, and the city says it's an administrative error on their part. Bottom line, even though no one in Philly goes to Water Works to eat, all of us ended up keeping the lights on in a restaurant that has been critically panned since opening the doors, and features beautiful views and $39 entrees that just plain suck.
From 2006 (when they opened) until 2010, the taxpayers covered gas, electric, and water for the restaurant. The city says Karloutsos paid in 2010 (he says he doesn't remember getting a bill), and then again during the 2011 calendar year, we covered the bills. Originally, the city denied the allegations, but then after some intense probing by a taxpayer advocacy group (It's Our Money did the leg work here), they admitted the ridiculous "oversight."
So, how did this all happen? The situation is "complicated," since the Water Works restaurant is housed inside city property, but the equipment needed to bill the restaurant was never installed. In a town that boasts a long history of corruption and lazy administrative folks at the controls, this has to be one of the biggest screw ups of all time.
· You Got Hosed: Water Works Utility Bills Covered by Taxpayers [Philly.com]
· Water Works [Official]