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City unlikely to get debt owed by cafe

January 24, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

The City of Hagerstown will probably not receive about $33,000 owed by the owner of Round the Square, a coffee and sandwich shop that closed in December.

Crescent Moon Ltd, which owned Round the Square, last week filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt, Md., according to court records.

This means Crescent Moon probably will not pay most of its outstanding debts, Steven C. Kessell, a Hagerstown attorney representing company owner Harry Grandinett, said Monday.

Grandinett did not return telephone messages left Monday.

Kessell said the company owes about $152,870 and has about $7,295 in assets, most of which came from selling off equipment and furnishings.

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Most, if not all, of the assets will probably go to the state to pay back taxes, Kessell said.

He said taxes are known as "priority claims" and get paid before anyone else.

"It hasn't been determined but it appears there will be no money for debts other than the taxes," Kessell said.

The city is owed $23,394 for a renovation loan. The money came from the federal Community Development Block Grant funds that are dispersed by the city.

Grandinett also owes the city $9,854 for rent on the Round the Square location. The rent hadn't been paid in full since August 1998, according to City Finance Department records.

For more than five years, Round the Square was at 12 Public Square in the city-owned Elizabeth Hager Center building.

Some City Council members have said they didn't evict the business because they were trying to give Grandinett every chance to succeed.

Soon after closing Round the Square, Grandinett said the business didn't bring in enough money to be kept open.

Grandinett also operated the former Harry's House of Blues, which was later renamed Harry's House of Brues after the national House of Blues chain threatened legal action. The House of Brues shared a kitchen with Round the Square until the blues bar closed in July.

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