Less than a year after its grand reopening was celebrated by numerous West Islip civic associations and local residents, La Grange once again sits empty.
Why the catering hall suddenly closed remains a mystery. None of the three partners involved in reopening La Grange earlier this year—Dennis Garren, David Rousso and Scott DiDonna— could be reached for comment. The phones and fax numbers have been disconnected, but its website is still live with no indication that La Grange has been closed. However, a "For Sale or Lease" sign currently hangs over the entrance.
When West Islip Patch visited the catering facility on Tuesday, a man was seen carrying stacks of plates from the kitchen to a van on the premises. While refusing to give his name, the man said he was an employee of the leasing company who was now trying to sell or lease the building to a new party. He made it clear that neither he nor his bosses could assist with any upcoming events that were previously booked at the Inn. The man stated the former proprietors were responsible for any refunds relating to whatever bookings were made as well.
A call by West Islip Patch to the number listed on the For Sale or Lease signed was answered by an individual who identified himself as Jack. He said the building was never purchased by the partners operating the La Grange and it is still owned by the La Grange Inn Corporation. At this time, Jack said he was trying to find a buyer or someone to lease the building for his client.
Derek Lundquist, of West Islip, was planning on having a party at the Inn's catering hall soon and was surprised to receive a letter in the mail from them, explaining they're no longer in business.
"We had scheduled (and signed a contract for) a communion celebration there last June, and we got a letter in the mail yesterday (Monday) saying that they are no longer operating as a restaurant or a catering hall," he said. "We think we're going to be out our $500 deposit, and I'd imagine there are many others who are in the same boat."
Stay tuned to Patch regarding further updates regarding the Inn's closure.