Owners of defunct Smithfield restaurant file for bankruptcy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Consumers who are waiting to receive restitution for worthless gift certificates to Faial Restaurant and Lounge will have to wait longer.

Call 12 for Action has learned Jose and Emilia Faria, the couple who owned the Smithfield establishment, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Amy Kempe, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, said the Farias’ attorney informed the AG’s office of the bankruptcy filing Wednesday morning.

“It’s an unfortunate development for the consumers,” Kempe said.

Faial Restaurant and Lounge abruptly closed in 2015. More than 1,000 customers said they had gift certificates they were not able to redeem.

“There’s currently a $174,000 judgement against them by the Rhode Island Superior Court on behalf of the consumers here in Rhode Island,” Kempe explained.

The Farias haven’t paid back a single cent, according to Kempe.

The Farias were expected in court Wednesday morning to determine how much restitution they could afford each month. They did not appear because of the bankruptcy filing.

“We are at a standstill in this particular case,” Kempe said. “The judge in the bankruptcy court will decide what creditors get paid, and in what order.”

“We are going to now take a look at the filing in Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court and determine what our next steps are on behalf of the consumer,” she added. “I can understand how the consumers are frustrated. We’re frustrated that they have not made a single payment and that they have not lived up to their responsibilities to the consumers.”

Call 12 for Action was not able to reach the Farias for comment.