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Update: Blue Cottage May Be Bustling No More

The hopping seaside watering hole faces financial challenges, a possible eviction and has filed for Chapter 11 re-organization.

Editor’s note: One party in this story who wished to be off the record at the time of publication decided to be quoted. This story is updated with those quotes.

Since opening its doors in 2008, The Blue Cottage has always served the public on their sweeping patio deck through the warm months and closed-up shop after Halloween as the first chill fell on the idyllic Indian Neck shoreline neighborhood where the restaurant is nestled.

However, this past summer may have been the last one in business for the Cottage – evidence was found in a large and looming H Pearce realty sign reading “Available.” In recent days, after the photographs for this story were taken, the “Available” sign was removed from the property. The realtor on the property is Rich Guralnick. A representative from H Pearce said today regarding the sign, that all questions should be referred to the landlord. The Blue Cottage property is not currently listed on the realty company’s website.

Hal Beckley who owns  and the property of the Blue Cottage, maintains that he has no idea how the sign got there and does not know who removed it. Representatives of the Blue Cottage maintain the same.

Richard Novak, the Middletown-based lawyer representing , LLC, said that the business partners, which consist of four partners, Lenny Caponera, Nick and Gina Colavolpe and Michael DePonte will be opening up the Blue Cottage come spring. The partners also own  downtown, which operates under Mango’s Bar and Grille, LLC. That business is still open to the public and is not a seasonal business.

Hal Beckley who owns  and the 4,183-sqaure-foot restaurant and the apartment above at 2 Sybil Ave., served the Blue Cottage, LLC an eviction notice on Sept. 12, 2011 with demands for the business owners to vacate by Sept. 17, 2011. They have been in a lease with Beckley since June 18, 2008. In the legal documents, Beckley and his representing law firm Chesson & Schweickert, LLC of Milford, claimed that the Blue Cottage, LLC had “failed to pay the monthly rent due on July 1, 2010, thru and including Aug. 1, 2011.”

The total sum owed to Bud’s Realty, LLC if the entire rent was, in fact not paid by the Blue Cottage, LCC, as the court documents state, would be in excess of $110,000. Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal for the Branford Fire Department, Shaun Heffernan stated regarding the apartment listed in the lease agreement available at the New Haven Housing Authority Court, “There was previously an apartment in that building. It has not been used as an apartment since the Blue Cottage moved in and to make it an apartment again, it would require modification.”

Though the initial word from Novak was no comment on behalf of his clients, the Blue Cottage proprietor, Nick Colavolpe went on the record this morning stating, “The alleged claim that states the Blue Cottage has not paid rent since July 2010 is a false claim.”

The restaurant group’s lawyer, Novak stated that he and his clients were denying all charged allegations. He noted that his clients entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the Federal Court and now the group has 180 days to come up with a re-organization plan. The group does not have to vacate the premises under protection of Chapter 11 and neither can the place be leased to another party while the Chapter 11 protection is issued. Novak did not offer a re-organization plan on behalf of his clients.

“The Blue Cottage, LLC,” Novak stated, “has filed for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 11, and has plans to re-open during the regular season.”

This morning, Nick maintained that that Mango’s, which operates under a separate LLC from Blue Cottage is “doing good.” He added, “We are excited about the Christmas season.” Nick noted plans for a new tapas menu in January. As the case in years past, Nick noted that all dual gift cards for Blue Cottage and Mangos are redeemable at Mango’s year-round and at the Blue Cottage during season.

Of the Blue Cottage, Nick said, “If it isn’t there next season, it’s Hal Beckly.” Nick said in late 2010 there was ongoing re-negotiations regarding a lease between the Blue Cottage LLC and Bud’s Realty LLC.  “I’m old school,” Nick said. “We had a handshake and we were re-negotiating the lease.”

Late last week Beckley stated, very briefly of his tenants, “They owe a lot of people a lot of money.”

“We want to argue this out in court,” said Nick. "We are doing everything we can to get that place open in April.”

The case of Bud’s Realty, LLC vs. The Blue Cottage, LLC will not head back to New Haven Housing Authority court until resolutions are reached in bankruptcy court. The next hearing for The Blue Cottage, LLC in the housing authority court will be in the next six months. 

The original story published Dec. 5, 2011 appeared as below:

Since opening its doors in 2008, The Blue Cottage has always served the public on their sweeping patio deck through the warm months and closed-up shop after Halloween as the first chill fell on the idyllic Indian Neck shoreline neighborhood where the restaurant is nestled. However, this past summer may have been the last one in business for the Cottage – evidence is found in a large and looming “Available” sign posted by H Pearce. The realtor on the property is Rich Guralnick but the property is not listed on the realty company's website.

If you ask Richard Novak, the Middletown-based lawyer representing , LLC, he’ll tell you that the business partners, which consist of four partners, Lenny Caponera, Nick and Gina Colavolpe and Michael DePonte will be opening up the Blue Cottage come spring but the landlord’s actions would lead you to think otherwise. The partners also own  downtown, which operates under Mango’s Bar and Grille, LLC. That business is still open to the public.

Hal Beckley who owns  and the 4,183-sqaure-foot restaurant and the apartment above, at 2 Sybil Ave., served the Blue Cottage, LLC an eviction notice on Sept. 12, 2011 with demands for the business owners to vacate by Sept. 17, 2011. They have been in a lease with Beckley since June 18, 2008. In the legal documents, Beckley and his representing law firm Chesson & Schweickert, LLC of Milford, claimed that the Blue Cottage, LLC had “failed to pay the monthly rent due on July 1, 2010, thru and including Aug. 1, 2011.” The total sum owed to Bud’s Realty, LLC if the entire rent was, in fact not paid by the Blue Cottage, LCC, would be in excess of $110,000.

The restaurant group’s lawyer, Novak, would not speak freely on the record but did note that some of the rent was paid and hypothetically stated that if some of the rent was not paid, it may because there was a violation of their agreed upon lease on the plaintiff’s side. He would not state specifics. After stating that he and his clients were denying all charged allegations, he noted that his clients entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the federal court and now the group has 180 days to come up with a re-organization plan. The group does not have to vacate the premises under protection of Chapter 11. Novak did not offer a re-organization plan on behalf of his clients.

“The Cottage, LLC,” Novak stated, “has filed for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 11, and has plans to re-open during the regular season.”

Late last week Beckley stated, very briefly of his tenants, “They owe a lot of people a lot of money.”

The case of Bud’s Realty, LLC vs. The Blue Cottage, LLC will not head back to New Haven housing court until resolutions are reached in bankruptcy court. The next hearing for The Blue Cottage, LLC will be in the next six months. 

jeff December 10, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Wayne,what exactly is it that your growing? All I see is the truck with the giant signs on it.Is it blocking the crops? The DaRos kool-aid is pretty good,I'm glad I voted for him.
Wayne Cooke December 10, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Jeff...It's five acres of an exotic crop (you better get a paper and pencil for this)..called...C-O-R-N. I seriously doubt you couldn't see it this summer past the trailer. Did you read the CT 490 Guide yet? I just sent copies to the Blackstone & WW just for you--and other wayward/uninformed Kool-aid drinkers.
Nicole Ball December 10, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Comments will be closed on this story should any discussion of topics NOT relevant to this article continue. Thank you for your understanding.
jeff December 11, 2011 at 12:32 PM
Will the Blue Cottage restaurant stay or leave? Went to the library yesterday.....
Wayne Cooke December 11, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Jeff....I believe the Blue Cottage will stay...And yesterday, I watched the Army-Navy game. ; )

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