According to Ohio.com, 70 cases of beer was stolen over the weekend from Tim Owens' Travelers Tavern, the Akron, Ohio bar and restaurant co-owned by former JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH singer Tim "Ripper" Owens. The estimated $1,500 of brew was taken from an outdoor walk-in cooler, which was protected with heavy-duty locks. The thief or thieves apparently cut through the door with what were apparently a crowbar and a hammer and made off with beer.
"It's a really sad thing that someone had to do this," said Owens. "Any time you get ahead in a business and someone does this, it's hard."
Owens added that the culprit "was probably an old employee or a regular who knew the cooler was back there and happened to steal that night."
Since the theft was discovered Saturday morning, precautions have been taken to ensure it won't happen again. A new fence with razor wire has been erected around the cooler, additional security cameras have been built and there are plans to add new locks to the cooler door.
Tim Owens' Travelers Tavern (formerly Ripper's Rock House) was featured in a November 2015 episode of "Bar Rescue", the Spike TV series in which bar consultant Jon Taffer dispenses advice to the owners and staff of struggling operations.
Owens called Taffer to give Ripper's Rock House a makeover because the restaurant was pigeonholed as just a heavy-metal bar.
Owens opened Ripper's Rock House in 2013 after the closing of Ripper Owens Tap House. Tim's current partner is local businessman Micah Posten, who owns and operates Impact Landscaping.
Posten and Owens "never owned a restaurant," Owens told Ohio.com. "We don't know how to run one. We need help to figure that out."
Part of the makeover included a name change to Tim Owens' Traveler's Tavern. In addition, Owens' hard-rock memorabilia has been taken down to make room for a more contemporary look, and the paper-lined plastic baskets that served food have been replaced with ceramic plates.
"Nowadays, it's hard," Owens told Ohio.com. "In this day and age, even being open for two years is good. But we've never made any money. We're gradually losing money, and people don't see that. If people see one show going on, or a show on the weekend, they think, 'You guys are doing really good.' But they forget what happens Sunday to Thursday."
Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before the band reunited with Rob Halford.