The corporate owner of Mountain Branch Golf Course in Joppa has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The filing by Jazpal LLC, which owns the public golf course, restaurant and banquet facility off Route 152, made its filing on Sept. 4, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore, according to court records.
Jazpal lists assets of $3,417,500, mainly the real estate, and liabilities of $3,799,400 in liabilities, according to the filing, 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 allows a debtor to work out a reorganization plan with its creditors under court supervision while continuing in business.
The golf course and restaurant remain open and are not affected, said David Cohen, who is representing Jazpal in the bankruptcy proceeding.
A spotlight look at Mountain Branch Golf Club in Joppa, an 18-hole public course playing to a par 72. The course is generally regarded as one of the top public courses in the area, but is also well known for its restaurant and reputation as a wedding venue.
“This has nothing to do with with the golf course; it’s a legal problem involving the owners,” said Cohen in a phone interview Friday. “It has absolutely nothing to do with the golf course, which continues to be open, as is the restaurant.”
Cohen said JAZPAL should have a reorganization plan submitted within the next month.
He declined to elaborate on his comments about the golf course’s principal owners, who have been previously identified in media reports – and are listed in court records – as brothers Konstantinos and Vasilios Vasilkopoulos.
The 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 Vasilkopoulos, 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 brought by seven former employees for alleged failure to pay minimum and overtime wages. The lawsuit resulted in a jury judgment against Egira for $468,435 in lost wages and attorney fees, the Baltimore Sun reported.
In a May 2017 interview with The Aegis amid a controversy over the golf course’s plan to have summer outdoor concerts without receiving county Liquor Control Board approval, Vasililios Vasilakopoulos said his brother, Konstantinos, had purchased Mountain Branch almost five years earlier.
Neither brother had any experience with operating a golf course, he said, pointing out he had “never played a round of golf in my life.”
Vasililios, 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.