Investor in Defunct Grand Street ‘Comfort Diner’ Says Former Owner Cheated Her out of $75K

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 at 9:46 am by
The Comfort Diner, June 2015

The Comfort Diner, June 2015

While Saluggi’s East pizzeria struggles to make its own mark on Grand Street, its predecessor is again in the mud. An investor in the bygone Comfort Diner claims in a lawsuit filed last week that the former owner cheated her out of $75,000 when he neglected to mention his massive $700,000 debt of back taxes.

Judith Dauber invested the funds in 2014, but alleges former owner Ira Freehof never reimbursed her after the Comfort went belly up a year later, with more than $100,000 of rent owed to the Seward Park Co-op landlord.

“Ms. Dauber thought she was investing in a sister restaurant to the Comfort Diner’s 45th Street location,” her lawyer, Lee Jacobs, said in a statement to DNAinfo. “Her investment was squandered by the Defendants with no explanation as to what happened to it. Ms. Dauber looks forward to her day in Court to vindicate her rights.”

saluggis-grand-3

Dauber’s lawyer further alleges in the lawsuit that Freehof was well aware of his tax situation before seeking investors. The state reportedly issued warrants against Freehof for at least $665,626 in unpaid taxes dating back to 2004, according to public records.

The suit also claims that Freehof hustled everyone by saying he was the owner of the 45th Street original location, but, according to the publication, may have been paid “as an off the books employee” in an effort to “avoid debtors from collecting against his assets.”

Dauber is seeking $75,000, plus legal fees, accounting information for both the failed Grand Street restaurant and East 45th Street location; and for Freehof to disclose details on all his “concealed” assets and debts.

Recent Stories

Burned-out Bulbs on the Williamsburg Bridge for Months

Lights are burning a bit dimmer over on the Williamsburg Bridge. Readers point out that numerous bulbs lining the Manhattan side of the span are dark. And have been for months. Presumably the necessary approvals must snake through the bureaucracy before the necklace lighting is fully restored. So, it might be awhile yet. Department of […]

Report: Protected Bike Lanes Underway for Alphabet City

Protected bike lanes may be on the way to Alphabet City. With the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project on the near horizon, the Department of Transportation is attempting to make good on its recent promise to cyclists, by improving city bike infrastructure surrounding the project. “DOT, in consultation with Council members and other local stakeholders, […]

Henry Street Settlement Facility on Delancey Readies Move to Essex Crossing

The Henry Street Settlement is Essex Crossing-bound. In part. Its Workforce Development Center is relocating from the corner of Essex and Delancey Streets – atop the McDonald’s – to a new spot at 178 Broome (aka Site 6). Signs on the front door of the center alert locals of the imminent move. Basically, Site 6 […]

Samesa is the First Vendor Casualty in the New Essex Market

Open only six months, the first vendor of the new Essex Market has gone belly up. Not one of the long-timers, though. Samesa ended its brief run earlier this month. Established by brothers Max and Eli Sussman in 2016, Samesa first announced its Lower East Side grab-and-go stall one year ago. The Middle Eastern restaurant […]

‘GoNightclubbing’ with Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong at The 72 Gallery [INTERVIEW]

Thirty-nine years ago, a new nightclub called Danceteria featured a video installation which recreating a suburban living room. The twist was that the giant old-school TV, housed in a mid-century wood cabinet, wasn’t playing reruns of I Love Lucy. Instead, there was a live feed of bands such as Iggy Pop, The Dead Boys, and […]