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MacMenamin's Trustee Denies "$150,000 Deal" with Jimmy Rodriquez and Don Coqui Restaurant Group

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MacMenamin's Trustee Denies "$150,000 Deal" with Jimmy Rodriquez and Don Coqui Restaurant Group

March 27, 2009 - 17:00
7 comments

Robert L. Geltzer the Chapter 11 Trustee for MacMenamin's Grill has denied claims published in the Journal News that he had pledged to allow the restaurant to continue to operate "if Jimmy Rodriguez, the head of the restaurant group, could produce $150,000 by the next day."

Last week, Ricardo Oquendo, the lawyer representing Don Coqui Restaurant Group, claimed in an email to Geltzer told Allan Drury of the Journal News that Geltzer had informed another Don Coqui lawyer that if Jimmy Rodriguez came up with $150,000 the same day, he would permit the restaurant to remain open for the coming weekend. Oquendo says he came up with the money the following day but Geltzer reneged on the deal. The email was made available to Allan Drury of the Journal News who reported on the exchange last week.

Peter A. Zisser of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, the law firm which represents Mr Geltzer absolutely denies Mr. Oquendo's characterization of discussions between Geltzer and representatives of Don Coqui Restaurant Group, telling Talk of the Sound:

...with respect to Mr. Oquendo's comments, at no time did the Trustee agree to keep the restaurant open in exchange for a cash payment from Mr. Rodriguez.

Zissner also expressed a concern that readers of our article, Hours After Receiving School District Checks and Invoices, Trustee Shuts Down Don Coqui, might have understood that Mr. Geltzer had closed the restaurant as a result of our discussions with him earlier that day and our sending to him a link to our earlier story which contained links to PDF scans of checks and invoices obtained by Talk of the Sound under a Freedom of Information Law request as well as a copy of the New York State auditors report.

Zisser told Talk of the Sound:

...the closing of the restaurant by Mr. Geltzer was totally unconnected to any alleged questionable dealings between and among Don Coqui Restaurant Group, the Debtor and the City School District of New Rochelle. As a chapter 11 trustee, Mr. Geltzer is charged with acting in the best interests of all creditors of the Debtor; he has no personal interest in the Debtor nor can he favor one creditor over another. In the exercise of his fiduciary duty, Mr. Geltzer's decision to close the restaurant was simple: Allowing the restaurant to remain open would have further reduced the funds held by the Trustee for the benefit of creditors without any chance that those funds would be replenished.

After further discussion with Zissner earlier today, Talk of the Sound agreed to send him our copies of the checks and invoices from the District's dealings with MacMenamin's Grill along with the New York State Comptroller's audit of the New Rochelle School District which first identified problems with the deal between the school system and the restaurant which we have now down. Generally, Zissner says the Trustee is interested in any documents that pertain to MacMenamin's Grill, Jimmy Rodriguez or the restaurant.

There are 7 Comments

Mr.Rodriguez is nothing more than a two time swindler. Im glad that his bussiness closed down YET AGAIN. He belives that his street personna and bullshit talk actually would persuade some investors and venture capitalist from having his resturant stay open.Hahaha it didnt and hopefully he learned his lesson for the last time not to mess around with the law and to run a "clean" bussiness and to stop ripping off his emplyoees. Who knows maybe Mr. Rodriguez will get back onto the resturant scene again and become a manager of Mcdonalds or somthing.
-Former Bartender at Don Coqui

I agree with the bartender. Mr.Rodriguez has always been a two-bit swindler and has always been able to persuade those with cash to invest in his high-minded BS. He's a dirty businessman, an unscrupulous negotiator, and his "street personna" is surely beginning to wane. When people begin to understand a hustlers mentality; they will take their investments elsewhere. A nice suit, a broad smile, and the gift of gab should not be the ticket to running a business where people's livihood and survival are valued. Jimmy Rodriguez has left a trail of deceit wherever he has conducted business. As bartenders, waitresses, waiters, busboys,ect..we have all observed his ILLEGAL business practices. May the wind of change FINALLY knock him to his knees so that no one else will suffer the loss of a job or the loss of money.
--Former employee

This is truly great reading! Keep it going I like to hear the differing points of view.Perhaps Jimmy will at some point give us his perspective, or better yet Brian!

Maybe you don't understand the way business works? Maybe you think it's as easy as being a bartender, getting a paycheck and not paying taxes on your tips? There is a lot more to owning a business, dealing with New York State taxes and regulations that make it almost impossible to operate. Dealing with landlords, employees, lawyers, taxes, accountants, suppliers, customers, investors, etc... Why is it that the guys in the mailroom always know how to run the company better, yet they never get past the mailroom?

It this "the" Jimmy Rodriguez or is this one of his enablers-slash-minions? Many of us, do in fact, pay our taxes as bartenders, waitresses, ect..You mentioned working in the mailroom? Where do you work, minion? Jimmy Rodriguez has been a crook for a very long time, unfortunately, some of us were unaware who this thug was when he came to New Rochelle. Some of us, work to create real careers, and pay our student loans. People like Jimmy Rodriguez deserve to be profiled in The New York Times or better yet, The Wall Street Journal. Maybe 20/20 or 60 minutes? This is where we often see crooks like Jimmy Rodriguez. He WILL one day be caught like a dear in the headlights. I hope I'm one day notified and asked what I've witnessed? What MANY of us witnessed...he's a theif, and according to what many of us have since learned about him; he's been a theif for a very long time. Can anyone say, DRUGS AND PRIOR RESTUARANTS IN THE NINETIES?!! Why would Brian EVER do business with this thug?! So, hey, minion, or hey, Jimmy Rodriguez...we ALL look forward to your Bernie Madoff day! Because, you WILL BE CAUGHT and I hope we ALL have the chance to watch you fall. If this isn't Jimmy, which is possible, then go continue to enable this theif mr or ms minion. You poor thing..you must be so pathetic to support such a reprehensible humanoid.

You guys are just mad you dont even have half the brains he does.

Jimmy great job we fly in from NC to see your place, fantastic food, music and great atmosphere. I highly recommend "DON COQUI" to those that want to party!!

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