Centerport's Thatched Cottage to close Oct. 6
The Thatched Cottage will close on Oct. 6, after a bankruptcy operating trustee appointed to oversee the struggling business determined that the Centerport business "cannot continue to operate."
"After meeting with the former accountant, the lender and other interested parties involved in the case, it is clear that the debtor is no longer a viable entity and cannot continue its operations," said trustee R. Kenneth Barnard, of Wantagh, in a statement.
Barnard said he gave "immediate notice that it [the Thatched Cottage] will cease operations as of Oct. 6, 2014 to give all the affected wedding parties as much time as possible to find a new venue."
Letters have been sent to couples whose wedding were scheduled after the closure date.
Barnard was appointed operating trustee on July 4, taking over managerial control from longtime owner Ralph Colamussi. Colamussi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, citing costs associated with Tropical Storm Irene and superstorm Sandy.
"It's sad," Colamussi said Tuesday. "We had two hurricanes, and my place was devastated."
Amy Schweitzer said Tuesday she was first notified that her wedding was canceled by telephone and then received a letter dated July 11.
"I'm devastated," Schweitzer said. "It just has been awful."
Schweitzer said she and her fiancee, Jessica Hawkins, booked their wedding at the Thatched Cottage about a year and half ago. Since the bankruptcy filing, she said they were assured several times that their wedding would go on as scheduled.
She said they are now trying to find a venue for the same date, since they have already booked several vendors. Schweitzer and Hawkins are Long Island natives who now live in upstate New York.
Colamussi tried to keep his business afloat in March by striking a partnership deal with Gino Scotto, chief financial officer and co-owner of the Westbury Manor.
Huntington attorney Avrum Rosen, who represents the Thatched Cottage, said on Tuesday that Scotto had until June 30 to secure the necessary financing for the business. It was disclosed that he didn't have the funds and wouldn't be able to get them at a bankruptcy hearing that day in Central Islip, Rosen said.
He said Scotto is still the Thatched Cottage's manager and that the business' representatives are currently looking into selling the business and have begun that process in court.
Colamussi also owns the Jellyfish restaurant next door, which Colamussi has said he closed in March for renovation. The restaurant remains closed.