Thatched Cottage Files For Bankruptcy
Some would say the waterfront view at the Thatched Cottage in Centerport is part of what makes the 26-year-old catering hall so appealing, but owner Ralph Colamussi, who filed to protect his business from bankruptcy last Thursday, learned the hard way that a pretty view can come with a price.
According to Colamussi’s Huntington-based attorney Avrum Rosen, the East Main Street business, following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, sustained extensive damage largely due to flooding. A victim of circumstance, Colamussi on Jan. 2 filed for Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy law, which would allow the facility to continue catering operations while paying off the incurred debt, Rosen said.
Colamussi, of East Northport, had secured flood insurance for his business and paid for the repairs on his own while expecting to be reimbursed, according to the attorney. However, a $2-million disaster recovery loan which Colamussi claims is owed by FEMA never came through, forcing the owner to pay out of pocket — and others’ pockets — for storm-related repairs.
Additionally, Colamussi’s attorney said that while his client was trying to secure federal disaster loans he also “fell behind in his sales tax” and put several mortgages down on the property with the hope of paying off his debt in a timely matter.
In total, Rosen said, the Thatched Cottage racked up $3 million-$4 million in debt from repairs from storm damage.
“He borrowed lots of money from people to do the bulk of the repairs. He owes money and still doesn’t have the insurance,” Rosen said Wednesday.
Brides, fret not. The Thatched Cottage will remain open for business while the owner battles for his fair share of disaster funds in court, and will continue taking reservations for future celebrations at the venue.
“While we worked tirelessly to repair the damage from these devastating storms our first priority was always to continue memorable events for our clients,” Colamussi said in a press release. “Our objective is to continue to create amazing events…but it is a very slow and arduous process.”
Colamussi’s other business which neighbors the Thatched Cottage, Jellyfish Restaurant, has not filed for bankruptcy, Rosen said.