Cleveland Chef Jonathan Sawyer files for bankruptcy, owes dozens of creditors over $1.5 million

Chef Jonathan Sawyer
Chef Jonathan Sawyer((Source: Facebook/The Greenhouse Tavern))
Updated: Mar. 12, 2020 at 12:16 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Less than one month after closing his flagship restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern, award-wining Chef Jonathan Sawyer filed for bankruptcy.

Sawyer and his wife, Amelia Zatik Sawyer, filed for Chapter 7 in in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Cleveland on March 6.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not involve the filing of a plan of repayment as in Chapter 13.

Instead, the bankruptcy trustee gathers and sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds of such assets to pay holders of claims (creditors) in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.

The couple says they owe $1,593,219 to dozens of creditors, including several local businesses.

The Sawyers were the proprietors of several Cleveland-area restaurants including The Greenhouse Tavern on East Fourth Street, Trentina in University Circle and Noodlecat in Westlake, all of which are now closed.

Blue Ribbon Meats in Cleveland is owed more than $43,000, according to the court filing.

Other local businesses owed more than $10,000 include Chef 2 Chef Foods, Catanese Classic Seafoods and Northern Haserot.

Northern Haserot, a Bedford-based food distribution company, filed a civil lawsuit against Sawyer and Greenhouse Tavern on Feb. 7, just days before the East Fourth restaurant closed its doors for good.

The company claims it is owed over $18,000 for unpaid goods and services dating back to March 2019.

In the bankruptcy filing, the Sawyers report their total assets as being valued at $565,622.

The majority of that amount comes from their Chagrin Falls home, which is currently valued at $489,200.

Records show the couple purchased the home for $565,000 in 2018.

Their personal assets are listed at $74,422.

The Sawyers must both appear at a meeting of creditors on April 14 in Cleveland.

Sawyer partnered with the Forward Hospitality Group to open Sawyer’s in Shaker Heights and SeeSaw in Columbus last year.

The new restaurants, which are not owned or operated by the James Beard chef, remain open.

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