414 no more

Coming as a surprise to no one, the city of Orlando is in the final stages of acquiring a Parramore liquor store that suddenly found itself in the crosshairs `Down and out, Sept. 28`.

The Orlando City Council approved $377,500 in December to buy 414 Liquors from Yong Han and Sak Soon Lee, whom many felt were being bullied by city officials anxious to build homes and a charter school near the decades-old tavern.

City officials deny they were after the Lees. But after owning the store without incident for eight years, the Korean immigrants were arrested for dealing in contraband cigarettes, hit with code-enforcement violations, forced to appear at a nuisance-abatement hearing and targeted by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

For all the hubbub, the Lees are emerging relatively unscathed. Faced with eight felony counts relating to the cigarette investigation, Yong Han Lee accepted a plea bargain for one second-degree felony count of dealing in stolen property. He could have been sentenced to 15 years and a $10,000 fine. Instead he served one day in jail and was fined $278. Sak Soon Lee's case is pending.

The city's plans for the Lees' bar? Demolition. Then the city likely will build homes on the lot on Parramore Avenue between Livingston and Amelia streets.