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Filing halts sale of restaurant property

November 24, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The public sale of a Sharpsburg restaurant's property is on hold because its former owners have filed for bankruptcy, attorney Roger Schlossberg said Tuesday.

The New Central Restaurant, on the former property of American Legion Post 236, was the focus of controversy because the town would not let the owners put up an advertising sign on Main Street.

Albert Paul Carson and E. JoAnn Carson, the former restaurant owners, defaulted on a deed for the restaurant property, Schlossberg said.

Schlossberg was named receiver of the property Nov. 2. He is representing Hagerstown Trust Co.

He said he spent $1,500 on a newspaper advertisement about the public sale of the property at 104 S. Mechanic St. and restaurant items, ranging from a gas stove to candlesticks and coffee pots.

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But last Wednesday the Carsons filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which puts the public sale on hold, Schlossberg said. The sale had been scheduled for Dec. 13.

"It will be up to the bankruptcy court to see if the bank can enforce its rights on the property or if we are delayed yet further while the debtor is given a chance to try to reorganize, however futile that avenue appears," Schlossberg said.

Edward Christmon Jr., the Carson's attorney, did not return phone calls Tuesday.

The Carsons could not be reached for comment.

The Carsons bought the restaurant property in August 1996 and opened the restaurant in November 1996.

Three months later they had to remove a temporary directional sign at Town Square because of town zoning laws.

The Carsons spent more than a year battling the Town of Sharpsburg over whether they could put up a sign on Main Street. They later reduced the hours of the restaurant, citing the stress of the fight.

The Carsons later leased the property to another family who temporarily operated a restaurant there.

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