Water’s Edge owes city $86K in late rent, banquet revenue

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A recent audit by the city comptroller found that Long Island City’s popular Water’s Edge restaurant owes the city more than $86,000 in late rent payments and unreported revenue and that the eatery has not properly maintained its public pier along the East River.

City Comptroller William Thompson said the restaurant, which is operated by Quinn Restaurant Corporation, could not prove that it had accurately reported all gross receipts and paid appropriate rent to the city.

“[The company] cannot demonstrate and we cannot be assured that all gross receipts from the restaurant and bar operations were recorded on [its] books and reported to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and that appropriate fees were paid to the city,” Thompson said.

He said that more than 700 invoices were missing during a period of three months, making it difficult for auditors to determine whether all revenues from the restaurant had been reported.

“Quinn could not provide all contracts for weddings and other banquets and guest checks from the bar and restaurant as well,” Thompson said. “As a result, the $86,034 that Quinn now owes the city likely is not all the money that should be paid.”

An employee of the restaurant who would not specify her position said she was surprised that the comptroller would release the audit at a time when the economy is in a downturn.

“Everything in the report is incorrect,” she said. “We’ve turned this over to our attorneys and I’m sure it will be clarified.”

The audit covered Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2007, Thompson said.

During the audit, the restaurant reported 128 banquets which generated $1.2 million, Thompson. The audit found that contracts were not on file for 25 of those banquets, which generated more than $111,000, he said.

The audit also found that the restaurant could not account for several check numbers during a sampling period, Thompson said.

The restaurant entered into a contract with the city in 1981. Under the agreement, the restaurant was built along Long Island City’s Nott Avenue Pier at the end of 44th Drive, the comptroller said.

But Thompson said the recent audit found that Water’s Edge had not complied with provisions in the lease agreement regarding the site’s upkeep. An inspection in 2005 found severe deterioration on the concrete pier, ordering it to be closed to public access and repaired, the comptroller said. The pier remains closed and has not yet been fixed, he said.

Thompson said the restaurant has a history of not paying rent or utility bills when they are due. He said the business owed more than $224,000 in rent as of Dec. 1, 2007, and more than $77,000 in water and sewer charges in September 2007. The restaurant also owed Con Edison more than $43,000 in January 2008, he said.

The comptroller recommended that the eatery pay an additional $69,309 in rent and $16,725 in late fees.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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