The Please Touch Museum Is Out of Bankruptcy

Please Touch Museum - Philadelphia - Memorial Hall

The Please Touch Museum in 2014. (Photo: Jeff Fusco)

The Please Touch Museum’s 2008 move to Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park did not work out as planned. Revenue from admissions did not reach projected levels. Neither did donations. And the old Please Touch building did not sell for what the museum had originally hoped for.

Financial problems dogged the Please Touch Museum, and last year it filed for bankruptcy. It was $60 million in debt, but had negotiated it down to $11.25 million.

Today, a judge approved that plan: The Please Touch Museum is out of bankruptcy; its debt has been reduced. Almost $8 million was raised, exceeding what the museum needed to pay off its debt. In all, the museum paid $8.25 million, with an additional $3 million in reserve funds also going to bondholders. Read more »

Bankruptcy Round Up: Tony’s Baltimore Grill and Johnny Manana’s

Tony's Baltimore Grill has filed for bankruptcy protection but remains open.

Tony’s Baltimore Grill has filed for bankruptcy protection but remains open.

Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City has filed for bankruptcy. Co-owner Christopher Tarsitano tells the Atlantic City Press that a $715,000 bill for withdrawing from a pension fund is to blame. In 2014, the business left Local 54, the Atlantic City hospitality workers union and the National Retirement Fund. Tarsitano says the business was paying$10-15,000 per month for ten employees to receive health and pension benefits. By withdrawing from the fund, the business is on the hook for a “withdrawal liability.” That’s where the $715,000 comes from. Tarsitano tells the Press, the business will not close and remains open as it has since 1927.

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Bensalem Hip-Hop Producer Scott Storch Files for Bankruptcy

Bensalem-bred hip-hop producer Scott Storch made millions—70 of them to be exact—making hits for everyone from Christina Aguilera to Beyoncé, but according to new reports, he’s blown through it all to where he’s down to a measly $100 in cash.

TMZ reports that the music mogul filed bankruptcy and details his financial status in embarrassing detail, saying that Storch claims to have $3,600 worth of assets to his name, the aforementioned $100 in cash, $500 in clothing and a $3,000 watch. And perhaps most unfortunate of all, his music companies are worth nil.

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Should the School District Declare Bankruptcy?

Not long ago, it was rare, almost unthinkable, for cities and school districts to declare bankruptcy. Even when they did it wasn’t a panacea. Sure debt was restructured, creditors were put at bay for a while. But towns didn’t get to wipe the ledger clean and start afresh just by declaring bankruptcy.

Then came Detroit. After the city declared bankruptcy in 2013, the court eliminated $7 billion Detroit’s debt in one fell swoop. The city was authorized to borrow a fresh $1.4 billion to invest in city services. Pensioners made out pretty well. And there are now credible reasons to think the city is recovering, at least a little.

Sure would be dreamy if the School District of Philadelphia could do the same, right? Whoosh, $1.45 billion in debt payments over the next five years wiped away just like that. There’d be an extra $276 million this year alone. As Larry Platt at the Philadelphia Citizen writes, that’s enough to “hire roughly 1,000 more teachers and provide each student with an iPad.” Read more »

Marathon Grill Declares Bankruptcy


The Marathon Grill restaurant located at 1818 Market Street in Philadelphia filed bankruptcy this week in federal court, posting outstanding debts close to a half million dollars. (See update below for new numbers). Read more »