To the editor:
I will address accusations regarding the transfer of licenses from The Cheese Plate to Nosh. Without wasting time and energy engaging in a mud-slinging contest, I merely wish to provide my side of the story. My past silence had been on the advice of legal counsel rather than an attempt to avoid discussion of any wrongdoing on my part. Now I am free to speak.
First, it has been said, “I removed or destroyed everything I possibly could” when vacating the tearoom. Since a police detail was present during the entire torturous removal process, if I had acted in the way my detractors contend, I would have been promptly arrested. That did not occur. The Warren Police Department acted admirably in the situation.
As to owing Michael Sigourney or David Wescott any monies, such is a legal matter best resolved between the parties. The town council has no role in these private disputes, nor should it. Basically British failed to stay in business, true, but the private business matters seem to be fodder for council scrutiny.
Although Basically British failed, it did provide a destination stop with amazing food and service along with an enormous amount of good press and business to Warren.
I fought “tooth and nail” to make the business a success, to protect my investors and innocent parties, while putting everything that I had on the line. Admittedly, I failed. Not every project is a winner. If they were all winners, investors would never be at risk.
It is true that we were given a week to vacate the premises, however, it should be noted that a previously scheduled wedding made this extremely difficult. With a legal gun to my head and not wanting to destroy a wedding, I agreed to the property owner’s terms to preserve the business and fill my obligation to my client. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
As part of this new application, my business partner and I did our due diligence. We went to town hall weeks prior to the meeting to check with each department to determine if there were any issues related to the purchase or transfer of licenses from The Cheese Plate to Nosh. I was assured there were none and that such a transfer is simply a formality, since we intended to operate a similar business.
On April 8, 2014, the day of the scheduled town council meeting, I made a call to the town clerk regarding any possible issues or red flags. I was assured once again that they saw none.
I do not blame the town hall workers, police, or fire department for this, as I truly believe they were not aware of what was occurring “behind the scene.” I place the blame completely on a broken system and practices that would allow this to happen.
If, as stated by the council president, the intent was to “save applicant pain and embarrassment,” then perhaps it would have been wise to address these issues with the applicant prior to the meeting. No contact was made and we were blindsided at the meeting.
As a Warren resident, I am horrified that this type of unprofessional behavior exists and I am even more horrified that my business partner, who had no involvement with my prior business, had to endure such despicable behavior by the town I spoke so highly of.
We could have taken our business elsewhere, but I talked her into Warren to help my home town, which is struggling with half-empty store fronts and financial issues brought on by an apparent lack of competent leadership and past errors that will likely cost the town in service cuts and possible tax hikes. As a result of the town council’s unjust actions, we have chosen to take a higher road and not waste more time and resources in an attempt to open at The Cheese Plate location. I would like to thank everyone for being so kind and supportive during this terrible week.
To the editor: