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Jan 11, 2011 6:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Owner Of Westhampton Beach Luxury Car Dealership Vows To Reopen Soon

Jan 11, 2011 6:44 PM

Though homemade signs state that both businesses were closing for the holidays, a car dealership and automotive repair shop on Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton Beach—whose owner voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection 20 months ago—remain shuttered as of this week.

Manhattan Motorcars of the Hamptons and Westhampton Coachworks, both of which are owned by Richard Rubio, have not reopened since closing on Christmas Eve. When reached on Tuesday, Mr. Rubio said his lease expired at the end of last month and that he is still trying to negotiate the terms of a new agreement.

“We’re attempting to work things out,” Mr. Rubio said, declining to offer specifics about what is holding up negotiations, or when he thinks he’ll be able to reopen. “I’m still in negotiations and still trying to get things resolved.”

Mr. Rubio, who said he opened his businesses in 1978, now rents the buildings on Old Riverhead Road from Sam Domb, a developer who lives in New York City and owns a second home in Westhampton Beach, according to Westhampton Beach Mayor Conrad Teller. Mr. Domb’s numbers are unlisted and he could not be reached for comment this week.

Mr. Rubio said that while he voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for both businesses on April 29, 2009—a move that allows business owners to reorganize their companies when they can no longer pay creditors—he was caught off-guard by the ongoing lease negotiations.

“That has something to do with it,” he said, referring to the ongoing court proceedings, “but we were expecting that. The lease issue we were not expecting.”

Kenneth Reynolds, a bankruptcy attorney in Jericho who was representing Mr. Rubio in the bankruptcy case, did not return calls this week.

Mr. Teller said that, on January 2, someone unlocked the doors to the businesses to allow mechanics and other employees to remove their tools and other personal belongings. “I believe it’s closed for good,” the mayor said at the time.

In April 2009, Mr. Rubio voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District Court of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Brooklyn. At the time, Westhampton Coachworks and Manhattan Motorcars of the Hamptons had between 99 and 148 creditors combined, according to court records. Also, documents showed that, at the time, Westhampton Coachworks had about $500,000 in assets and some $2.2 million in liabilities, while Manhattan Motorcars had about $350,000 in assets and $3.2 million in liabilities.

Several signs made with white computer paper, and taped to the doors of both businesses, state: “Closed for the Holidays, Emergency # 631-284-1313.” Those who called the number over the holiday week and in early January were connected to a voicemail system that allowed them to leave short messages.

“We were going to be closed for the holiday anyway, because business has been so slow ...” Mr. Rubio said, later adding that he plans to reopen both businesses in the near future, even if they are at different locations.

“We love the community,” he said. “We’ll be back.”

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Yeah right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By m50one (8), Flanders on Jan 13, 11 2:56 PM
Richard Rubio seems to be a very despicable business person, does anyone care that it's even closed? Or that he claims that it will be open again? Between lawsuits, embezzlement, and a slew of other legal charges, why would he even want to stay in this area?
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Jan 13, 11 8:08 PM
rubio's a piece of work
By traffic (26), Southampton on Jan 14, 11 10:18 AM
passed by Crrokworks yesterday coming back from Riverhead and the Christmas tree is still up and they still owe me money. Hadn't got that check that was due in December.
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Jan 25, 11 10:51 AM