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May 24, 2010

'Top Chef's' Timothy Dean in bankruptcy court

Timothy DeanMore drama for chef Timothy Dean, and I don't mean the reality TV kind.

The "Top Chef" contestant is in bankruptcy court.

T.D. Bistro Inc., which owned the now-shuttered bistro and T.D. Lounge, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a development the Baltimore Business Journal first reported. Dean is president of T.D. Bistro Inc.

I just reached Dean by phone, but he declined to comment, except to say that the BBJ had "covered it." He told that paper that the recession and winter weather had done him in. "The snowstorm really buried us," he said.

Dean also told the BBJ that the filing would have no impact on Prime Steakhouse, the restaurant he opened in the same Eastern Avenue location in late February, not too long after those whopper snowstorms, come to think of it.

T.D. Bistro first filed for bankruptcy a year earlier, on May 1, 2009, listing both assets and liabilities in the same $50,001 to $100,000 range. But that case was dismissed in June for failure to complete required filings, according to court records.

The new bankruptcy filing lists assets of $0 to $50,000 and liabilities between $100,001 and $500,000. The list of creditors holding the 20 largest unsecured claims starts with Dean himself.

It says MTD Realty LLC is owed $50,000. Dean's bankruptcy attorney, Stephen Prevas, confirmed that Dean controls that LLC, whose address, 1717 Eastern Ave., is the same location as Dean's restaurant and lounge ventures.

Other creditors listed are the state comptroller (owed $41,036), M&T Bank ($29,094), Jessup seafood purveyor E. Goodwin and Sons ($13,000), The Country Vinters ($11,065), BGE ($7,786), Department of Labor ($7,559), Fells Point Wholesale Meats ($5,500), Arlene S. Cristmon ($4,000), Congressional Seafood Company ($3,937), International Gourmet Foods ($2,200), American Express ($1,991), Waste Management ($1,983), Rose Bud Entertainment ($1,775), Byron Del Cid ($1,500), Martin Seafood Company ($1,500), City of Baltimore water department ($1,365), American Express, again ($1,212), Verizon ($1,069) and Silver Spoon Ltd. ($950).


Bravo photo


Posted by Laura Vozzella at 4:05 PM | | Comments (10)


Say what you will about TD, figuring out a way to owe yourself $50k is brilliant.

Maybe, like Lost, TD exists simultaneously in two parallel universes (if I got that right ...)

It's not uncommon for restaurateurs to set up two companies -- one to own the real estate, and the other to operate the restaurant (and pay rent to the real estate company). Many other businesses use the two-company scheme. If anything, it speaks volumes that TD couldn't make enough from the old bistro/lounge to pay himself (as landlord), let alone to pay his suppliers and the other listed creditors.

How does one owe the City Water Dept and not be up for tax sale? $1300+?
Some residents can get sold out for owing more than $300!

Does anyone in the supplier business know at what point C.O.D. would kick in ? I don't understand how E. Goodwin would let their unpaid credit rise to $13k.

Stagger is right. However, what may be saving T.D. Bistro is owing MTD 50k. If it's rent/mortgage on the property, the city can't touch it. That's why it's always the little old ladies that get screwed by the city.. they own the building free and clear.

funding swerving: yeah, no duh on this one.

If you get behind with any liquor distributor in Maryland, you automatically go on The List and nobody will deliver alcohol to you unless it's C.O.D. Food suppliers obviously aren't that organized

Did Rose Bud Entertainment provide $1775 worth of sleds to pass the time during the blizzards?

It's not for lack of organization by food suppliers, it's perishable inventory. Liquor has an extremely long self life, lettuce not so much. From an inventory standpoint, it's better to get it delivered and expect payment, then to let the product become lost and unsellable.

You call it a blizzard? I call it White on Black crime! Snow Whitey always trying to keep us down, but like smoke we rise from the ashes and raise ourselves high and start afresh! Like mighty Jesus said to the apostelites, :"where there' smoke, there's fire!" Amen. TD is Top Chef & Top Dawg!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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