Apricots Closes In Farmington; Owners Had Financial Difficulties

Apricots, a popular Farmington restaurant known for its river views, closed suddenly Thursday.

A sign on the door of the restaurant said "Closed Till Further Notice," and according to a Fox 61 report, employees showed up on Thursday to find the door locked with chains. The chains were still there on Friday.

The restaurant, owned by Ann Howard and Joe Howard Jr., opened in 1983 and sits along Route 4 with bucolic seating along the banks of the Farmington River.

Electronic land records do not indicate that the building has been sold or foreclosed. No building permits have been taken out for the property at 1593 Farmington Ave. since 2005.

But in August 2016, Bond Development LLC sued Ann Howard's Hartford-based catering company, Ann Howard Catering LLC, in a dispute over rent at the former Bond Hotel where the catering company is located. The lawsuit is pending.

This February, Bond Development issued a “notice to quit” to the catering company, alleging that it had breached its lease on the Hartford building, in part by failing to pay February's rent on time. But the two companies reached a stipulated agreement in July that said Ann Howard would pay $30,391.67 a month and move out at the end of October.

On Oct. 12 — two days after the 10-day grace period for paying the rent due Oct. 1 — Bond Development formally sought to evict Ann Howard Catering, arguing that the company was in default of the agreement. Ann Howard responded that the rent had been paid “on or before Oct. 12.”

The matter is pending and both sides are due in court Nov. 7.

According to a June 23 court filing, Ann Howard and Joe Howard Jr. defaulted on a $450,000 loan for their home, at 24 Mountain Road, in Farmington.

No notice of the closure was posted on the restaurant website as of Friday morning.

Joe Howard did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Courant reporters Leeanne Griffin and Matthew Kauffman contributed to this story.

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