After its future briefly dangled over a precipice, Eagle Cleaners in Williamsburg will be sticking around.
Last week ARLnow reported that manager of the dry cleaning business, Mathew Srebrow, was given one week to either buy the business for $250,000 or shut it down. He said the directive came from the trustee who controls the ownership interest in Eagle Cleaners and had plans to sell it.
That dispute was resolved — for now — on Friday. The dry cleaning shop can stay put at least until the lease is up in five years.
“Long story short… the landlord presented the trustee with a bill of what it’d cost to break the lease,” Srebrow said. “The trustee has no choice but for us to be here — now he’s begging us to be here.”
Eagle Cleaners has been controlled by a trustee and operated by Srebrow since his father put the business in a trust before he died of cancer in 2019. While Srebrow didn’t disclose the cost to break the lease, he said it was a number that the trustee “would never have been able to afford.”
Srebrow says five years is enough time to hire a lawyer and make an offer on the business.
“We’re going to be here for more than five years,” he said. “Once I buy it, I will get another lease to stay here forever.”
Srebrow will be repurposing the money raised so far from his GoFundMe page toward that end. He started the page five days ago in hopes of raising enough money to buy the business on the trustee’s terms.
So far, the page has collected $8,760 in donations, and Srebrow recently set a new goal of $25,000 to fund his new approach.
“The community has pulled together and shown amazing support,” he wrote on the fundraising page. “We are open for business with our normal business hours. Thank you all who have donated! It’s looking like legal advice with the option to buy the store will be needed to keep the store on [its] current path of staying open. Funds raised will be going towards this effort.”
Srebrow said he wants to hire a lawyer to ensure that his bases are covered, that the GoFundMe passes muster, and that last week’s events are not repeated.
“This was my dad’s store,” he said. “One of his wishes before he passed from cancer was to keep the store running. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
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