Judge Ruling Upholds Sale of Ketch

Dec 18, 2018

A recent ruling by Judge Francis Hodgson in Ocean County Superior Court mandates that the Ketch Bar & Restaurant in Beach Haven must complete the sale to the Nugent Group.

William Burris, a partner in the Nugent Group, said the ruling confirms an arbitration award dated in September by retired Judge Anthony Gibson, who served as arbitrator in the case.

“The order requires the defendants to close within 60 days unless there is an appeal filed,” said Burris.

Burris said Ketch owner Michael Battista has indicated he would appeal.

“We believe any future attempt at expanding the litigation will achieve the same results as previous attempts by Battista’s company to try and escape our contract, and that 529 Waterfront Properties, LP/The Catch Inc., will be required to pay our attorney’s fees, costs and damages going forward as a result of the continued delays,” said Burris.

The Nugent Group also owns two nearby establishments, the Black Whale Bar and Fish House and Parker’s Garage.

Burris said that shortly after Superstorm Sandy, Battista had approached Burris to see if he was interested in buying the Ketch.

“I guess he had a change of heart,” he said.

Arnold Lakind, Battista’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.  —E.E.


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