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September 18, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Sofrito restaurant in White Plains files for bankruptcy protection

Sofrito, an upscale Puerto Rican restaurant in downtown White Plains, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The restaurant at 175 Main St. estimated its assets at $50,000 to $100,000 and liabilities at $100,000 to $500,000 in a Chapter 11 petition filed Nov. 8.

Sofrito opened in White Plains in 2011 and is affiliated with the original Sofrito, a critically acclaimed restaurant in Manhattan. Photo by Bill Heltzel

Sofrito needs immediate bankruptcy relief to protect it from eviction, Angela Terranova, president of Sofrito Inc., said in an affidavit.

The landlord, Wyassup-Laurel Glen sued Sofrito in 2014 to recover $233,962 in unpaid rent.

Genaro Morales, a Sofrito Inc. officer, admitted that the restaurant “may be in arrears” on its rent, according to his response to the lawsuit, but it was entitled to an abatement because the landlord had failed to provide the premises in the conditions required by the lease.

The parties agreed to a $164,726 settlement in 2015. Sofrito consented to a judgment of eviction and the landlord agreed to hold off on enforcing the eviction as long as the restaurant continued to make payments of $5,000 a week until the debt was fully paid.

The original lease also required monthly payments of $14,857.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a debtor to continue operating as it reorganizes its business affairs.

Sofrito opened in White Plains in 2011 and is affiliated with the original Sofrito, a critically acclaimed restaurant in Manhattan. That location has not filed for bankruptcy protection.

The restaurant’s name refers to an aromatic mix of herbs and spices used as a base seasoning in Puerto Rican cuisine, according to Sofrito’s website. The décor and soundscape were designed to evoke a Caribbean atmosphere.

Terranova, of Katonah, owns 85 percent of the company, according to the bankruptcy petition, and Benjamin Olan owns 15 percent.

Beside the manager, it employs 36 people with a monthly payroll of $80,000. Terranova estimated that the business will take in $140,000 in the first month after filing for bankruptcy, and spend $96,000 on expenses.

Creditors listed on the petition include Beltran Promocion LLC, Mt. Pleasant Management Corp., the IRS and the New York Department of Taxation and Finance.

Sofrito is represented by Lawrence F. Morrison of Morrison Tenenbaum PLLC in Manhattan.