Gregory's owners again apologizing to customers
Posted March 19, 2010 5:47 p.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2010 6:35 p.m. EDT
Cary, N.C. — A Cary restaurant that filed for bankruptcy five years ago and later reopened under new ownership closed its doors again in January without refunding deposits some customers paid for special events.
Greg Papadopoulos, the owner of Gregory's Restaurant, said he feels "horrible" about the situation and promised to provide full refunds on deposits people paid.
"I didn't want to hurt anybody," he said.
Gregory's first incarnation was in the Waverly Place shopping center. Papadopoulos sold it in 2004 to Sami Al-Mahmoud. A year later, Al-Mahmoud filed for bankruptcy and closed the restaurant, leaving some customers who had paid deposits for events out in the cold.
Al-Mahmoud eventually repaid about $25,000 in deposits.
Papadopoulos reopened Gregory's two years ago off Kildaire Farm Road, but he said he had to close it again because he couldn't afford a rent increase his landlord was charging.
"It's really disappointing that it comes to this," said Christy Parker, who paid Papadopoulos a $1,000 deposit last fall for her daughter's wedding reception, which is scheduled for September.
Parker said she didn't realize something was amiss until recently.
"We were getting ready to send out the invitations, so I wanted to make sure I had all of his information correct on the invitation and started making phone calls," she said.
The phone went unanswered, and the restaurant was locked and dark during business hours, she said. When she checked Gregory's Web site, she found a message saying the restaurant was "permanently closed" and that the owners "regret any inconvenience."
"We gave him our money in good faith and were looking forward to this wonderful event, and now we're back to starting the planning all over for her reception," Parker said.
Papadopoulos said Friday that he would mail Parker a $500 check immediately and would get the rest of her refund to her later.