ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — District Court Judge Jane Levy granted Scalo owner Stephen Paternoster and his estranged wife, Jane Fertig, a reset date to decide who will be in charge at Scalo Northern Italian Grill.
Fertig had filed a petition in District Court in Bernalillo County seeking control of the landmark restaurant in Nob Hill, citing erratic behavior by Paternoster.
Paternoster told the Journal in a phone interview last month that he was in a rehabilitation center for substance abuse problems.
The restaurant has been closed since mid-December after a waterline break. Paternoster said Scalo would reopen this Sunday.
A humble Paternoster told the judge in court that he would comply with whatever judgment ultimately is made. He also said that he and Fertig were no longer considering moving forward with their divorce proceedings.
Jedidiah Glazener, the attorney representing Fertig, said he thought Paternoster was a remarkable person and was willing to take more time to resolve Fertig’s request to take over Scalo.
“It will take a few weeks to negotiate and explore our options,” Glazener said. “But I am sure we can figure something out. Stephen (Paternoster) seems to be a very resourceful man.”
Judge Levy honored the plaintiff’s request and set a new hearing for March 21.
Fertig won a temporary order on Jan. 9 to take control of the restaurant. In her petition, she said she had to change the locks because Paternoster had been taking money from the cash registers and from employees’ tips and had been writing checks to himself from the business account.
Bernalillo County records show that Scalo faces three Internal Revenue Service tax liens totaling over $200,000. On Dec. 27, the restaurant’s landlord, Nob Hill Investors LLC, filed suit against Esperanza Enterprises, the company that owns Scalo, accusing the company of failing to pay rent and other charges.