Hacienda Cantina made a bunch of cash, still won’t pay city back $250,000

Hacienda, Palm Springs

Hacienda, Palm Springs

Hacienda Cantina – a closed down restaurant / pool / bar thing that Palm Springs city officials thought was a great place to give a bunch of taxpayer money – was pretty profitable before being shut down, according to a court documents filed by the city and obtained by the Desert Sun. The city claims that owner Richard Meany created an “illusion of insolvency” in order to shut down the restaurant and not pay back the $250,000 in taxpayer dollars the city gave in grant money.  Palm Springs is clearly a well run city. 

According to financial records filed in the case, Hacienda recorded a net profit of $526,000 in 2014, then another $543,000 in 2015, and then another $745,000 in 2016. The vast majority of the 2016 income is attributed to the sale of food and drinks – even though the restaurant was closed.

There is no information about how the restaurant made so much money after shutting down – though I am sure eateries like Johnny Rockets and Richie’s would like to know.

“The only reason defendants let the license lapse for a thriving business was because they knew what they were going to do from the beginning,” the lawsuit claims.

Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet was once a paid consultant for Meany’s company Union Abbey – which is something the FBI seems to be looking into after that whole #PouGhazi raid on city hall.