Schenectady County

New bankruptcy filing halts Van Dyck auction

Four months after a bankruptcy judge threw N. Peter Olsen out from behind the court's shield, the Va

Four months after a bankruptcy judge threw N. Peter Olsen out from behind the court’s shield, the Van Dyck Restaurant & Brewery owner has jumped back into the system in a last-ditch effort to keep his landmark business.

Electric City Brew Pubs, Olsen’s company that owns the Van Dyck, filed Monday for Chapter 11 reorganization. The filing stayed an auction for the restaurant that was scheduled for 10 a.m. today.

The filing will hinder the efforts of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority and Berkshire Bank to collect on two loans they made to Olsen totaling $525,000. Monday’s filing also threatens to revive a nearly year-long legal battle creditors waged after Olsen personally filed for Chapter 11 protection in March 2007 — two months after Metroplex foreclosed on the famous Union Street jazz club and eight days after Olsen closed the Van Dyck.

Given that the restaurant has remained closed since then, Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen questioned Electric City’s viability under Chapter 11, which businesses usually use to keep creditors at bay while operations are reorganized.

“He doesn’t have a going concern. … It’s hard to see how a plan of reorganization for the business would make any sense,” Gillen said.

Bankruptcy Judge Robert Littlefield in January rejected Olsen’s personal Chapter 11 disclosure statement, which outlined his plan for reorganization. Two months later, the judge tossed Olsen’s case, exposing him to creditors who were lining up to foreclose on his properties in Schenectady, Saratoga and Washington counties.

Neither Olsen nor his attorney, Francis Brennan, immediately returned calls.

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