A popular Albuquerque restaurant remains closed as court documents finally reveal the reason it has been closed. It appears to be way more than a water leak.
“We noticed a little bit less people on the street out here, you know, kind of just less foot traffic,” says Andres Gonzales, manager at Empire Board Game Library.
Empire Board Game Library is neighbors with Scalo Northern Italian Restaurant in Nob Hill.
“We used to have those guys come over here, so we haven’t seen them as much. We definitely felt them being gone,” says Gonzales.
On Dec.10, the popular spot posted on Facebook it was temporarily closed due to a water leak.
Three days later, another update, claiming the water damage was extensive and it would be a while before Scalo re-opens.
“We had a few people come in and ask us, hey what’s going on with Scalo? Are they closed? We didn’t really know what to say,” says Gonzales.
Almost a month later, there’s been a lot of questions about what happened to Scalo because it’s still closed.
Now, KRQE News 13 has obtained a letter from the landlords of the building to Scalo owners Steve Paternoster and his estranged wife, Jane Fertig.
It says they failed to pay the $84,000 rent and have just three days to do so until eviction.
The letter is dated the same day the business posted about the water leak.
“Didn’t want to start any rumors or anything, but it was clear that they weren’t going to be coming back,” says Gonzales.
What’s more, Fertig also filed a motion requesting sole ownership of the business, blaming her husband for the restaurant’s recent decline.
She claims he’s a drug addict, took $500,000 from the business, caused scenes with employees in front of customers, and drove out the head chef.
She says 70 employees haven’t gotten their paychecks.
Across Central, Gonzales says whatever problems Scalo had, it’ll be missed.
“Great people. We never had any complaints with them. They ran a good business and we’ll definitely miss them a lot,” he says.
The manager of Scalo had agreed to do an on-camera interview with us, but changed his mind after speaking with “upper management.”
He did say that there are ongoing efforts to get all the Scalo employees paid.
KRQE News 13 reached out to both Fertig and Paternoster, and their attorneys, for comment but did not hear back.