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October 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Acclaimed restaurateur Peter X. Kelly files for bankruptcy protection

Acclaimed restaurateur Peter X. Kelly has filed three bankruptcy cases seeking reorganization for his culinary enterprises and for himself.

The Chapter 11 petitions filed Sept. 12 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, include HCC Caterers Inc. of Yonkers; Ripe Inc., as Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar in Congers; and for Peter X. Kelly, of Blauvelt.

Kelly’s X20 Xaviars on the Hudson is at the same Yonkers address as HCC, but is not named in any of the cases. State tax records identify X20 as a trade name for HCC.

Kelly has not yet filed an affidavit explaining the circumstances of his financial troubles, but most of the disclosed debts are for federal and state taxes.

As of Sept. 1, he and his companies were also listed as among the largest delinquent taxpayers statewide.

From left, Ron Gallo, Giovanni Scappin, Peter X. Kelly, Michael Kelly, Jim Ely, Charles Fells and Waldy Malouf. Kelly and the other chefs got together at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park last year to prepare a six-course dinner as a fundraiser to benefit the 10 hospitals operated by the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

Kelly was born in Yonkers, the 10th of 12 children, and began working in local restaurants at age 14, according to a profile on the Xaviars Restaurant Group website.

He describes himself as a self-taught chef, and he cites a 1983 “pilgrimage” to France as part of his “pursuit of perfection in the culinary world.”

His work has been featured in national publications and he has won several awards, according to his profile, including New York State Restaurateur of the Year (1998).

Kelly characterizes his menus as contemporary American cuisine.

X20 is on a Victorian pier on the Hudson River. The large glass framed walls of the main dining room offer panoramic views of the Palisades, Mario Cuomo Bridge and George Washington Bridge.

The dishes, according to the website, are a unique melding of classic French technique, Italian and Spanish influences and Asian embellishments.

Restaurant X in Congers bills itself as a country restaurant.

Though the restaurants operate under Xaviars Restaurant Group, Kelly attests in each petition that no other cases are pending or are being filed by a business partner or affiliate.

All three cases estimate assets of no more than $50,000 and liabilities from $1 million to $10 million.

The petitions list more than $7 million in debts to their top 20 unsecured creditors, of which nearly $5 million is for state and federal tax and payroll obligations.

They include $2.3 million to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, $1.9 million to the IRS and $746,313 to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

The IRS has filed claims for more than $3.5 million in back taxes, nearly twice as much as listed on the bankruptcy petitions.

Kelly’s tax problems appear to go back at least five years.

The state Department of Taxation and Finance ranks Kelly as the 108th most delinquent individual taxpayer, at $860,576, for sales and use taxes and withholding taxes from 2016 to 2019.

The ranking describes him as the individual responsible for HCC Caterers Inc. and Ripe Inc.

HCC is ranked 68th as the most delinquent business, at $766,911 from 2015 to 2019, for sales and use taxes.

Ripe Inc. is ranked the 119th most delinquent businesses, at $540,197 from 2015 to 2019, for corporate, sales and use, and withholding taxes.

The totals reflect money owed when tax liens were filed. They do not deduct for payments made while cases are pending, nor do they include added penalties and interest.

Kelly and his businesses are represented by New City attorney Scott B. Ugell.