Water's Edge, the popular Long Island City restaurant and wedding venue that first showed signs of its impending demise last month, has officially bit the dust.
Owner Harendra Singh, who was recently arrested on a litany of fraud charges as he let the restaurant crumble, was apparently allowing his staff and purveyors go unpaid for weeks on end, causing many of them to abruptly quit and for orders to cease being delivered. All of this spelled disaster for the many couples whose weddings were booked at the scenic waterside venue well into 2016.
Singh's neglect finally came to a head on Wednesday, when the already anemic restaurant shut down for good.
"It's officially shut down," a former manager told Newsday. "Everybody is owed money. Purveyors are owed money, and employees are owed money. And he [Singh] ain't paying."
Several calls to Water's Edge were not answered, and the voicemail system has been deactivated. Its online booking system is also disabled, and visitors are met with a notice that says "this restaurant is currently unavailable."
Singh has allegedly failed to pay rent in three years, and now owes more than $2 million. His other interests include the Bethpage-based Singh Hospitality Group, the properties of which include H.R. Singleton's in Bethpage, Poco Loco in Roslyn and the Woodlands at the Greens in Woodbury and Melville, among others.
Last month, Singh was arrested on charges ranging from wire fraud to bribery to impeding the IRS. Between October 2012 and January 2015, prosecutors say he attempted to defraud FEMA by inflating the losses Water's Edge suffered during Hurricane Sandy by triple the actual amount, an effort that netted him around $950,000 in disaster relief funds. He was also charged with bribing a government official to secure loan guarantees from the Town of Oyster Bay.
Singh's lawyer, who last month told us that "there is absolutely no question that the Water's Edge is remaining open," did not respond to request for comment.