The corporate owner of the Mountain Branch Golf Course property in Joppa has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The filing by Jazpal LLC, which owns the 260-acre property off Route 152, made its filing Sept. 4 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore, according to court records.
Jazpal’s filing lists assets of $3.4 million, mainly the real estate, and liabilities of $3.8 million, including a first mortgage of $2.6 million, an assumption in debt of $950,000 from a prior owner and a disputed judgment of $240,000 with a law firm.
A Chapter 11 filing lets a debtor work out a reorganization plan with creditors under court supervision while continuing in business.
The public golf course and restaurant and banquet facility remain open, said David Cohen, who is representing Jazpal in the bankruptcy proceeding.
“This has nothing to do with with the golf course; it’s a legal problem involving the owners,” Cohen said in a phone interview Friday.
Cohen said Jazpal should have a reorganization plan submitted within the next month.
The course’s principal owners are brothers Konstantinos and Vasilios Vasilakopoulos.
In an email sent Monday to The Aegis, Vasilios “Bill” Vasilakopoulos explained that Jazpal owns the land beneath the restaurant and golf course; however, “the course and restaurant [are] owned and operated by another entity that pays rent to Jazpal and, as Mr. Cohen has told you, does not affect the operations there.”
The Vasilakopoulos brothers and their mother are also identified in court records as involved in Egira LLC, which owns the Speakeasy Saloon and Dining House in Baltimore’s Canton entertainment district. Anastasia Vasilakopoulos, the mother, was listed as owner.
Egira LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2016, shortly after it was on the losing end of a lawsuit in which seven former employees alleged failure to pay minimum and overtime wages. A jury ruled against Egira for $468,435 in lost wages and attorney fees, The Baltimore Sun reported.
In a May 2017 interview amid a controversy over the golf course’s plan to host summer outdoor concerts without receiving county Liquor Control Board approval, Bill Vasilakopoulos said Konstantinos Vasilakopoulos had purchased Mountain Branch almost five years earlier.
Neither brother had any experience operating a golf course, he said, pointing out he had “never played a round of golf in my life.”
Bill Vasilakopoulos, who was listed as Mountain Branch CEO, also talked about the family’s prior experience with Speakeasy Saloon and said they had bought Mountain Branch primarily for the restaurant, which they had worked to upgrade, along with the course.
"It's a good restaurant. We've put a lot of work, a lot of money into the course and the food as well," he said at the time, adding food sales were up significantly since his brother bought the 260-acre property.