Blue Moon goes bankrupt

The sun sets on Blue Moon Hotel.

Efforts to diversify the Lower East Side lodge with a convenient online check-in system and on-site amenities apparently weren’t enough to save the company. Owner Randy Settenbrino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, recent reports show. reports.

The Blue Moon – fashioned from an 1879 building – had struggled in recent years, even before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The property, which had been put up for sale several times over the past 15 years, had accrued liabilities of $11.2 million, according to the bankruptcy filing.

As noted, the Settenbrino family was still strained by the initial monetary outlay to restore the building. The burden of taxes and expenses forced the owners to rent the property to a hostel (El Idi) for the past five years, which was a retrospective mistake. This arrangement would have led to the dismantling and disposal of many fixtures and artifacts from the original renovation. Coupled with the pandemic-induced shutdown for sixteen months, the costs of recovery have become almost insurmountable.

There was also a brief flirtation with the city to convert the Blue Moon into a homeless shelter, but those controversial plans never materialized, thanks in part to legal action.

Instead, Settenbrino launched a crowdfunding campaign last fall to stay alive and try to diversify.

Anne G. Cash