Baltimore caterer files for bankruptcy

February 06, 1991|By Cindy Harper-Evans

One of Baltimore's best-known off-site caterers has filed for reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore.

Charles Levine, owner of Owings Mills-based Charles Levine Ltd., said his catering company filed under Chapter 11 Thursday because it was unable to pay its creditors on loans it took out to start an on-site catering operation in the Scarlett Place condominiums at the Inner Harbor two years ago.

Mr. Levine said yesterday that the catering company is still reeling from the expenses related to that venture, despite the fact he closed it down in late December to focus on his flagship off-site catering operation, which he started in 1984.

"He went into Scarlett Place and got in over his head. He had a pretty decent business before that," said Stephen Fruin, the lawyer handling Mr. Levine's filing.

Levine Ltd.'s assets were listed at $140,000 and its liabilities at $850,000 in the bankruptcy filing. Mr. Fruin said the operation's largest creditor is Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co.

Mr. Levine said the filing will not affect his off-site catering business, which has 20 full-time employees and has catered local events attended by the last four U.S. presidents.

The company is scheduled to cater an event for 100 people at the World Trade Center today, said Mr. Levine, who also filed for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 last week.

Mr. Levine said he is confident that the catering operation will be profitable soon and says he has offered this joke to his clients since his bankruptcy filing: "I'm like Donald Trump. I made millions, I lost millions, the only question is: Where is my Marla Maples?"

Mr. Levine, 36, is a member of the third generation of a family of caterers who helped start the landmark Pimlico restaurant on Reisterstown Road in 1951.

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