Update: 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15: David Henshaw, the attorney representing now-closed Los Gatos Opera House Banquets, Inc., issued the following statement about the business' closure this morning:
"Opera House Banquets, Inc. is currently in the process of winding down, and dissolving the corporation. It is also determining the assets that can be liquidated, with any proceeds being available to pay creditors, including those that have deposits for future events. The amount of assets and subsequent proceeds are not known at this time."
A sign outside the Los Gatos Opera House says it's closed. It advises the public to contact Henshaw Law Office in San Jose for information.
Several readers contacted Los Gatos Patch this week concerned that deposits made to the business, Los Gatos Opera House Banquets, Inc., will be lost with the surprising closure.
"I represent a group that was looking at booking the facility for a future event, and had been contacted by a co-worker that had been trying to contact them since last week, with unanswered calls," said a local resident who declined to be identified.
The woman said she had walked over the iconic building, 140 W. Main St., and found the office empty and a small crowd had gathered outside Wednesday morning wondering what would happen to their deposits and events.
Other wedding venues in both Los Gatos and Saratoga also contacted this publication wondering what's going on with the business. The facility, with a capacity for more than 300 people, has been the go-to place for weddings, charity luncheons and fundraisers.
"Since many people have rented space at the Opera House for upcoming events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc., those affected may be scrambling to find a new space for their event," noted one wedding coordinator who also declined to be identified.
Indeed, said building owner and Los Gatos resident Paul Dorsa, the business was having trouble making rent and owes him about $120,000.
"He owes me almost a year's rent. He pulled the plug Feb. 1 and his last day was Feb. 10. I allowed him to stay the extra days so he can do two more events.
Erik Wilhelmsen and wife Jennifer owned the business for several years after buying it from the Toll House Hotel, Dorsa said. "We have several people looking to rent it as a banquet facility," he added.
Los Gatos Patch left several messages for Michelle McDonald, the administrative assistant for the Henshaw Law Office, which specializes in real estate, civil litigation, employment and bankruptcy law.
Several retail businesses operate on the building's first floor, while the entire second floor was occupied by the Opera House.
The Opera House's phone number, too, is disconnected.
"Last we talked he mentioned he had saved the deposits [from weddings] and was intending to return them," Dorsa said.