Large rent debt closes Ponticello’s Italian restaurant.
The signage has been removed from the front of what had been Ponticello’s Italian Trattoria restaurant on Bridge Street in Carleton Place. The owners were informed that, because of their $9,000 plus rent arrears that they were being evicted.
The debt woes that have bedeviled the owners of Ponticello Trattoria in Carleton Place have finally caught up with them.
Still dealing with outstanding debts to local businesses and former employees, the final nail in the restaurant’s coffin came in late July when landlords Jack and Marcia Taylor notified owners Pietro and Kim Anselmo that they were in breach of their August 2011 lease because of rent arrears totalling $9,040, according to a notice posted on the front door of the 157 Bridge St. restaurant, which has since closed down.
The signage has since been removed, and the old sandwich board that used to advertise daily specials on the sidewalk – which was visible through the locked front door – still bearing advertising for a competition to win a trip to Italy.
The “Notice of Termination of Lease,” was dated July 27, based on what was termed “a result of such breach of covenant” on the Aug. 3, 2011 lease.
However, another restaurant may yet be taking up residence at the site. A sign in the window noted that applications are being accepted for a new restaurant – likely to be called The Bridge Bistro – for chef, server and dishwasher positions.
This past spring, several former employees of Ponticello Trattoria picketed the restaurant, saying that they had not been paid for outstanding owed wages.
Pietro said that he had been waiting on word of several loans from area banks, though he claimed he did not know the names of the banks. He also stated that renovations to the building to make it compliant with the fire code were also impacting his bottom line. The restaurant was given a temporary liquor license by the town pending successful completion of the renovations.
While some employees were later paid back, the Ontario Ministry of Labour was conducting an investigation into the restaurant regarding the outstanding wages of one other employee.
Several area businesses, like the Rental Village and Ferguson’s Graphics, were owed several thousands of dollars in unpaid debts by the restaurant.
Pietro had been involved in the restaurant and catering trade in Ottawa before setting up shop in Carleton Place last year. Even with the financial problems, the restaurant had been planning to expand into a bistro next door, and renovations had already begun.