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Smuggler Jack's restaurant in Massapequa may be sold to pay $263G legal judgment

Smuggler Jack's restaurant in Massapequa on July 10,

Smuggler Jack's restaurant in Massapequa on July 10, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A contractor who won an arbitration award against Smuggler Jack's restaurant in Massapequa will seek the sale of the restaurant to pay off a $263,610 judgment, his lawyer said.

"We're going to start the process of enforcement with the sale of the Smuggler's property, the sale of the restaurant," said Jay Hellman, an attorney at Jericho-based Silverman Acampora, representing Structure Tek Construction of Amityville. "It could include personal property in the restaurant."

The restaurant's attorney, Edward Ross of Garden City-based Rosenberg Calica & Birney, said selling Smuggler Jack's is not an option. "We're going to pursue appropriate steps to stay enforcement of the judgment pending the appeal," Ross said.

Ross said his client disagrees with the arbitrator's ruling and has filed a notice of appeal.

The dispute arose due to many changes and delays in the renovation project, according to Dominick Marinelli, Structure Tek's chief executive.

Noel Cannon, the owner of Smuggler Jack's, unsuccessfully challenged a November arbitration decision awarding Structure Tek $243,221 for work stoppages, arbitration fees and interest on the renovation of the restaurant.

State Supreme Court Judge Timothy Driscoll in Nassau County ruled in February there was no basis to overturn the arbitrator's decision. Hellman said the court's judgment was higher than the arbitration award because of interest and fees.

Hellman said he would not seek the sale of the restaurant if Cannon paid the judgment, but, "I haven't heard anything from him."

The Nassau clerk's office recorded the judgment April 9.

Cannon challenged the arbitration award, alleging the arbitrator failed to disclose that his property was being foreclosed on, affecting his impartiality, and that the award was "irrational."

Driscoll ruled Cannon's attorney failed to establish any basis to vacate the award.

Last year, the town of Oyster Bay filed charges against the restaurant, alleging code violations after neighbors complained of noisy crowds seated outdoors and at its boat slips.

Last month, State Supreme Court Judge George Peck denied the town's motion for a preliminary injunction, ruling the town failed to show the restaurant was violating the code and that the restaurant owner had tried to appease neighbors.

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