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Soho's files for bankruptcy, will stay open

Chris Dorst
The late Bill Sohovich's chef coat hangs near the entrance of Soho's. The restaurant, located in Capitol Market, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 9. However, owner Sharon Sohovich says she continues to offer regular hours for lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner, from 5 to 9 p.m., while she reorganizes the restaurant's financial situation.
Chris Dorst Soho's, located in the Capitol Market, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 9. The restaurant continues to offer regular hours for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Capitol Market staple Soho's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 9.

"I had no other choice but to reorganize the restaurant," said owner Sharon Sohovich. "It's just a reorganization of past debts from my husband and the past restaurants we had."

Court documents showed Soho's Enterprise with assets worth $23,045 and liabilities totaling $469,628.

Sohovich, along with her late husband, Bill, who passed away in February, operated several area restaurants, including Blossom Deli, in downtown Charleston, and Billy's, at Southridge.

Financial trouble for the Sohovich's restaurants began in 2010 when two companies Sohovich owned filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Just three months after opening Billy's restaurant in 2008 along Corridor G, Sohovich closed its doors.

Federal bankruptcy documents showed Sohovich Enterprises claiming $939,000 in debts and just $7,300 in assets. Sohovich's company owed $80,000 in past-due lease payments to the Southridge restaurant's property owner, Ridgeline Inc., according to bankruptcy records.

Records showed Sohovich owed more than $400,000 in loans to Huntington National Bank and United Bank.

Sohovich also owed more than $88,000 in federal taxes and $17,000 in state taxes. Additionally, the company ran up nearly $50,000 in unpaid credit card bills and owed food supplier Sysco more than $46,000.

The case was closed and Sohovich's debts were discharged on June 30, 2010.

In December, Blossom Enterprise Inc. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bill Sohovich estimated his assets at "$0 to $50,000," and liabilities of "100,000 to $500,000."

Sohovich closed Blossom Deli after 16 years of operation in August 2010.

The deli later reopened under new ownership but has closed its doors again.

Sharon Sohovich is confident Soho's will bounce back after restructuring. The restaurant signed a new lease with Capitol Market at the beginning of the year.

The reorganization process could take several months to three years, Sohovich said.

"We're hoping to get it settled as soon as possible and continue on with our payments and reorganization," she added.

Capitol Market Executive Director Tammy Borstnar could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Soho's has been anchored the east end of the market for 11 years.

"It's not only my livelihood but its all the employees' livelihood," Sohovich said. "It's a home to all of us. It's not just a restaurant."

 Soho's has 47 employees.

"They are my family and they have stuck by us and will continue to stick with us and continue to run on as usual," Sohovich said.

Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.cook@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.

 


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