INWOOD — The trouble-plagued Italian restaurant Maranello was evicted last month for failing to pay $100,000 in back rent and other bills, according to its landlord.
The restaurant, at 1 Nagle Ave., was forced to close in early February after its landlord, Ronald Edelstein, and city marshals entered the restaurant and changed the locks, according to Edelstein.
Before the eviction, Edelstein said he tried to contact Maranello's owners, Victor Osorio and Eddie Camano, several times to discuss payment options and ways to salvage the restaurant, but they couldn't be reached.
"We have to have these places in Upper Manhattan," he said. "It's part of our appeal."
Though Edelstein couldn't say exactly when Maranello stopped paying rent, he explained that the owners owe him more than $100,000, including back rent, legal fees and repairs.
"I had to find and repair some tiles that were imported from Italy," Edelstein said, noting the restaurant's owners invested a lot of time and resources into the space. "The place was done all top quality."
Camano did not immediately return a request for comment. Osorio would not comment on the eviction, saying he was no longer an owner of the restaurant.
Maranello's troubles date back further than the eviction.
In February 2015, police cited the establishment for serving alcohol to minors, noise complaints and disorderly conduct.
On Dec.17, 2015, a fight broke out in the restaurant, which then spilled out into the street, according to the State Liquor Authority. At the time, a Maranello security guard was accused of hiding one of the people involved in the scuffle, as police conducted their investigation, the agency said.
Maranello applied for a liquor license renewal shortly after those incidents, on Dec. 30, and was granted one by the SLA despite the objection of Community Board 12.
One reason the board voted down the renewal was because of a flood of complaints from residents regarding noise. From January 2015 through December 9, 2015, 225 noise complaints about Maranello were filed with 311, according to a CB 12 resolution.
According to the city's online map tracking 311 complaints, more than 300 noise complaints were filed between March and December 9, 2015, for the streets immediately surrounding Maranello.
On Tuesday, SLA spokesman Michael Smith defended the agency's decision to grant the renewal, saying that "unless a licensee poses an imminent threat to the public's health, safety and welfare," the agency will not "disapprove a renewal of license based on recommendations alone."
Now that Maranello is out, Edelstein said he's looking for a new tenant to take over the space, which comes with refrigeration equipment, a first-rate kitchen and a "huge presence on Nagle Avenue."
"It's a beautiful space," Edelstein said.