A Martinez hamburger joint reopened Wednesday afternoon after the owner, charged with financial identity fraud, acquired the proper licensing to run the business.
St. Louis Original Hamburgers, at 407 Furys Ferry Road, shut down Tuesday night but reopened Wednesday when owner Gregory Glover paid $190 in cash to obtain a business license. The restaurant had been operating without a license since it opened in April.
Glover is accused of trying to use somebody else’s Social Security number to open a bank account in August. Glover, who evaded arrest for about two weeks, turned himself in Tuesday and was released that evening on $15,200 bond, according to Columbia County Jail personnel.
On Wednesday, Glover went to the Columbia County Development Services division to pay his occupational tax, commonly referred to as a business license. The license was issued only after a code enforcement officer and health department inspector checked the restaurant and cleared it, said Development Services Director Richard Harmon.
Glover opened his restaurant in early April in the former Pickles Cafe & Grill space, which closed in 2012. At that time, he said 30 employees had been hired and that he already had plans of expanding the business.
Glover never applied for permits before moving into the building, though he did have certification through the health department, Harmon said.
Glover told Harmon that employees tasked with retrieving the license never followed through, Harmon said.
“Pickles was closed for a while, and he just moved in and opened up,” he said. “Back then, when he first opened, I had three enforcement people working 5,000 occupational taxes and 6,000 complaints.”
Harmon said businesses operating without a license occasionally slip through the cracks, but once such a discrepancy is discovered, it’s immediately addressed.
“In this case, as soon as we found out, he was gone,” Harmon said.
He said he was prepared to issue Glover a citation in jail, but Glover had already bonded out and was in Harmon’s office by Wednesday morning. After a citation is given, a magistrate court judge has to order a business to be shut down before the division director can act, Harmon said.
“I personally don’t have that authority to walk in and close the business down unless I know all the facts,” he said.
Glover, reached by phone Wednesday, said he couldn’t speak with a reporter. He directed any questions to his attorney but hung up without giving his lawyer’s name.
According to police reports, Glover previously owned Southern Builders & Land Developers. He was arrested in 2009 for refusing to pay a local plumbing company what the owner said he owed.
Glover was arrested later in 2009 on a charge of deposit account fraud at Howard Lumber Co. and counts of deposit account fraud, negotiating a fictitious check and first-degree forgery at F&M Bank in Martinez. He pleaded guilty to one count of deposit fraud in a 2011 plea deal in which he was put on three years of probation and ordered to pay a fine and restitution.