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SIENA GRILLE CLOSES, FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

Siena Grille filed for liquidation this week, according to court records. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After weeks of half-off sales seven nights a week, Red Bank’s Siena Grille has thrown in the dishtowel.

The Shrewsbury Avenue restaurant, the onetime home of Sal’s Tavern, filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection from creditors on Tuesday, according to court records.

Attempts by redbankgreen to reach Siena Grille principals this week were unsuccessful.

In recent days, a sign taped to the door of the shuttered restaurant informed visitors that it was closed because of electrical problems. But a message posted Wednesday on its Facebook page says:

To all our Friends: Thank you for your patronage. Siena Grille will no longer be open. Watch for a new exciting Dining Venue at this location coming soon!

Callers got this recorded message Thursday: “Unfortunately, we are no longer in business. Thank you. Goodbye.”

A former server at the restaurant who asked not to be identified said the business was clearly struggling in recent months, with shipments of alcohol being taken back by distributors over bounced checks and other vendor issues. All employees were fired Monday, he said.

Under chapter 7 cases, debtors don’t restructure their debts with the eye toward resuming business as normal, but instead sell off all assets to settle claims. Documents filed with the federal bankruptcy court in Trenton don’t show who’s owed what, or list the restaurant’s assets.

Bunce Atkinson, the Red Bank lawyer who oversaw the liquidation of Ashes Cigar Club, was appointed by the court to oversee the liquidation.

The building was home to Sal’s Tavern for six decades, and became Two if by Sea, according to a 2003 review of that seafood restaurant. Siena took over around 2008, according to another online review.

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