Caterer abruptly closes, leaving customers in the lurch

Posted: Updated:

The Carlyle at the Palace in Plainview abruptly shut its doors, leaving dozens of customers scrambling to find other catering halls.

The building is owned by the Nassau OTB. Nassau Regional OTB head Joe Cairo says the catering company's owner, Steve Carl, had leased the hall for about 10 years but recently fell behind on rent.

"As recently as a week ago, I think it was last Wednesday or Thursday, he was here with his attorney and indicated to us that he would be able to meet all of his obligations through the end of the year," says Cairo. "Monday came, Tuesday and late Tuesday afternoon, somewhere around 4:30, we got an email saying 'I'm out of business.'"

The landlord says they reached out to everyone who's booked an event after they found out the catering company fired all of its employees and shut down.

"It's almost like a moral thing to try to help these people," says Cairo.

The OTB reached out to several caterers who offered to help. Of the 70 events scheduled there through March, 20 are back on track.

Robyn Clemens, of East Northport, is among the dozens trying to find other catering halls for their special days.

"She shouldn't have to worry about where she's going to have her bat mitzvah after working five years for this major religious event in her life," says Clemens. "I'm angry. I'm upset. I've been crying all day. I was crying yesterday. I'm upset. My daughter's upset. She's 12 years old."

News 12 reached out to Carl's lawyer to ask about deposits, but they said they had no comment.

"I don't make that much," says Clemens. "I can't afford to just throw away $12,000 and then do it all over again somewhere else."

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