Employees Furious After Hangar 17 Closes

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Some employees who worked at a midtown Sacramento restaurant lashed out after learning the business was closing and wouldn’t have enough money to give workers their last paycheck.

Co-owners Joseph Madrid and James Lombardi laid off all their staff Monday after problems with the IRS came to a head, forcing them to shut down their restaurant.

“Times are tough, business is down, it’s a struggle out there,” Madrid said. “It came down to taxes.”

The business owes more than a half million dollars in back taxes and doesn’t have enough money to continue operating, the owners said. They also don’t have enough money to pay their former employees about a week’s worth of wages.

Madrid and Lombardi threw an employee-only party Monday to give away the last food and drink, but the farewell party turned tense when workers realized they wouldn’t be paid.

“We’re pissed,” said former employee Raven Russell. “My family is going to suffer majorly from it.”

Some employees started trashing the business and grabbing what valuables they could find, while others raided the refrigerator for what was left of the restaurant’s beer and food.

“The arguments got heated because I’m sitting here, going, ‘I don’t know what to tell you. There is no more money,’” Lombardi said.

One enraged worker even pulled a knife out, but nobody was injured.

“I’m not looking for any sympathy and I don’t think James is either,” Madrid said. “It is what it is.”

Some disgruntled employees say they plan on reporting the business owners to the California Department of Industrial Relations.

More from Ron Jones
  • Makinbread

    When a business fails, is it their responsibility to make sure the employees’ families will be taking care of??? How about their owner’s own families?? I say both sides are low-lifes!!! The employees for thrashing the place and the owners for skipping out on the final paychecks. And that fat girl complaining needs to go find another job and the fat owner needs to kick in some money from his new cigar business. EDD here they come!!

  • midasmicah

    “It is what it is?” The slimeballs shouldn’t have been working their employees if they couldn’t pay them. Letting them go sooner would have giving them a heads up on filing for unemployment benefits. While I do not condone the violence, I don’t blame them for taking the food. At least they got something for their time put in. If they worked, they’ve earned the EDD benefits.

  • just me

    Karma oh how I love you.

    • Opinionated

      yes karma is GREAT!

  • Suspect

    I have experience only great things at hanger 17. People are upset with not getting full pay, I think there was 3 days missing on their check. Most restaraunts close the doors with employees getting nothing! I talked to quite a few employees and they knew that the owners try to do the best thing. If anybody knows the owners then they will know that they left nothing except a big tab to good ole uncle sam. The cigar shop is a whole separate loan not affilated with hanger. I’ll miss hanger as will many; I started goin there from the beginning. There’s nothing in sac that compares , it’s classy, employees are cool, food was good. Most sporting bars have bunch of idiots but hanger kepted it sexy. I meet people in there that will be in my life forever. Nothing but love hanger!!!

  • slick


  • every1freez

    The owners; Joey and James have $$$… I guarantee it.

  • Orly?

    Here is the follow up story that Ron Jones did when he found out Madrid lied to his face http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/03/28/owner-of-defunct-bar-running-successful-cigar-lounge/

    This still doesn’t pay back all the folks Madrid defaulted.

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