Catering hall closes despite several planned events

June 14, 2013 2:44:58 PM PDT
A catering hall on Long Island suddenly closed its doors without warning.

There are hundreds of customers who put thousands of dollars down for parties at Manor East but will not have them there.

Now however, help is being offered.

"I like to make sure all my clients are taken care of 150%," said Richard Bivona, catering manager.

Even though Rich Bivona representing the owner of Manor East can no longer deliver on the parties promised to hundreds of paying customers, he promises, and clients are waiting, for them to do the right thing.

The catering hall in Massapequa is now locked and shuttered.

"Whatever makes you happy. I'm here. I'm going to remain in Massapequa. I'm here today and I'm not going to hide from anybody," Bivona said.

"It's about $10,000, total paid in full," said Peter Fusco, a client.

The money was paid for a sweet 16 party for Peter Fusco's daughter. It was supposed to be Saturday night.

"I need resolution in 24 hours. I got to think positive," Fusco said.

Dozens of customers, out thousands of dollars are now being offered help through the Long Island Catering Association.

"We're here to help place everybody's party, help you find locations and venues that will honor your deposit," said Butch Yamali, President, of the Long Island Catering Association.

"My affair is tomorrow night. Chateau la Mer is doing me a favor and doing the affair. I'm not paying them up front. So they're going to call them and pay them the monies that I gave them," said Terryann Mammarella, a client.

Without warning, many clients rushed to Manor East to find sheriff's deputies overseeing an eviction and the seizure of property.

Eyewitness News learned from an attorney for creditors that Manor East LLC defaulted on a loan.

The creditors, the attorney says, received a judgment in their favor back in January.

Yet clients say they had paid deposits as late as Wednesday.

"I don't know how you can morally take deposits knowing that something like this could happen. You obviously know you have a bill you haven't paid," said Diana Umhafer, a client.

Now Catherine Vasquez, planning her sweet 16 party for two years, is out $1,500.

"After I had invitations made, party favors made. And I have my dress. I find it ridiculous. It's not fair," said Catherine Vasquez, a client.

"You feel they just weren't up front and honest with you?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yes, exactly," Vasquez said.

If you are a Manor East customer, you can get help finding alternative sites for your event by contacting: (516) 462-9001.