Former Farmers’ Cabinet Manager Scores Legal Victory Against the Bar


Former Farmers' Cabinet manager Sebastian Miller strikes a victorious pose.

Former Farmers’ Cabinet manager Sebastian Miller strikes a victorious pose.

Who’s in the market for a liquor license? Thanks to a former manager at the Farmers’ Cabinet — that fabled Walnut Street bar that had the most legally fascinating run of any Philadelphia establishment since time immemorial — you can now own the bar’s liquor license, assuming you are the highest bidder when it is auctioned off by the Sheriff of Philadelphia on March 31st.

Sebastian Miller, a 35-year-old Queen Village resident, started as a manager at the Farmers’ Cabinet in March of last year and worked there until July 5th, which was two days before we popped by for what would be the final night of service. And within a couple of months of his employment there, his paychecks started bouncing, according to a lawsuit he filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court last September. His suit claims that that he is owed $3,590.44 in back pay.

The suit meandered its way through court, with a series of delays caused by the fact that Miller was unable to serve Farmers’ Cabinet owners Matt and Colleen Swartz with a copy of the suit. But eventually, Colleen Swartz was served with court paperwork, and a judge entered a default judgment against her for the full amount of back pay plus court costs. We were unable to reach the Swartzes for comment.

The victory against Colleen Swartz specifically is key, because it is her name — not Matt Swartz’s — on the liquor license. The court issued a writ of execution to the Sheriff of Philadelphia, ordering the sheriff to sell the Farmers’ Cabinet liquor license to satisfy the judgement.

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According to Captain Albert Innaurato of the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, the auction is scheduled for March 31st at noon at the former Farmers’ Cabinet location at 1111 Walnut Street. The starting bid is expected to be $45,000. Miller will receive the money he is owed out of that, and the remainder will be returned to Colleen Swartz minus fees.