Local News

Cary Restaurant Owner Keeps Promise To Pay Back Patrons

Posted February 25, 2005

— The owner of a closed Cary restaurant is making good on his promise to pay back his patrons.

Gregory's Restaurant in Cary closed suddenly in January for an apparent two-week renovation. One month later, customers started to get suspicious. The popular Cary restaurant booked a lot of special events in which people laid money down months in advance.

"I was just sickened at the thought of going through the process of trying to find a new establishment," said Terri Philmon.

Philmon and her fiance, Jerry Leeman, booked the place for their summer wedding reception with a $1,000 deposit. WRAL investigated and found the owners in a legal squabble, with one in personal bankruptcy. The restaurant was sold, but it is still not clear who the new owner is.

After WRAL's story aired, the owner who filed for bankruptcy said he would pay back all outstanding deposits out of his own pocket. This week, Leeman got something in the mail.

"Well, I think as a result of [WRAL] getting involved, we actually received a letter this week in the mail that had a check inside," he said.

Philmon and Leeman cashed the check and found a new reception site.

"We are relieved. It's nice to know that this part is over, and we can continue to focus on the wedding, the plans and getting everyone here," Leeman said.

Sami Al-Mahmoud, the owner of Gregory's, had two other restaurants that sold as part of his bankruptcy proceedings. Al-Mahmoud told WRAL in an e-mail that he was paying back about $25,000 in deposits. The future of Gregory's is unclear.

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