Schmidt’s closed; lawsuit pending

JULIE LANE PHOTO The sign on Schmidt’s market in the Center says it all.
The sign on Schmidt’s market in the Center says it all.

With no fanfare and no advance notice, Schmidt’s Market has left Shelter Island. Cars continued to pull up to the market Monday morning to be greeted by a locked door and a sign that read: “Store Closed. Thanks for your patronage!! When ‘off Island’ visit us in North Sea or Southampton!!’”

Landlord Dan Calabro said Dennis and Daniel Schmidt are behind in rent and he has a civil case pending in Shelter Island Justice Court against the father and son. He expects to be in court November 6 and would be suing the Schmidts for back rent as well as rent due through April 30, 2018 and court costs that combined would total about $100,000.

But Brian Doyle, attorney for Dennis and Daniel Schmidt, said rent has been fully paid to date and the lease expires on March 31, not April 30. The attorney said he has heard nothing about any court fees for which Mr. Calabro might be filing suit.

He will be in court on November 6 to represent his clients, Mr. Doyle said.

Since Schmidt’s arrived on the Island in June 2013, the Schmidts have twice posted signs saying the business was for sale, once in January 2015 and again in January 2016.

A former employee said at that time the signs were meant to rile Mr. Calabro.

In the interim, Mr. Calabro said nothing should be taken from the premises unless there is a court order allowing the Schmidts to take what inventory and equipment remains.

He threatened to sue the town if police allow access to the store.

Mr. Calabro has previously fought a battle with the owners of Bella Vita Pizza that previously operated in the Center adjacent to the North Fork Animal Hospital office. That business left the Island briefly and then reopened in a property further south on Route 114 last year.

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