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Cafe Nola, facing eviction, files for bankruptcy

Its landlord prevailed in a Common Pleas lawsuit, according to court records. The restaurant intends to stay open.

The future in Society Hill is cloudy for Cafe Nola - a name that has been part of the Philadelphia restaurant scene since 1981.

Earlier this month, management of the Creole/Italian restaurant on Second Street across from Headhouse Square lost a protracted battle against its landlord over unpaid rent, according to Common Pleas Court records. Judge Bradley Moss found in favor of the landlord for $45,234 and awarded the premises to the landlord. He also ordered that $28,218 held in an escrow account be forwarded to the landlord.

Nola remains open and its lawyer, Raheem S. Watson, said he expects it to remain so through the holidays and for the foreseeable future.

On Monday, Nov. 17, the corporation filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, listing assets and liabilities between $100,000 and $500,000.

Owner Nick Ventura said his corporation owns the liquor license and furnishings.

I left a message with an attorney for building owner Ironstone Phoenixville Enterprises.

Restaurateur Bill Curry founded Cafe Nola in 1981 at 328 South St. as an homage to New Orleans and sibling of Copabanana, the bar still on the corner of Fourth and South.

Nola sank after a 1996 bankruptcy, and then moved to 603 S. Third St. and 623 South St. for brief periods.

In 2001, Curry reopened Nola, teaming up with Ventura at what was Ventura's Euro Cafe at 414 S. Second St. The partnership did not last, and Ventura has been running it solo since.

Post updated to reflect bankruptcy filing