Frustrated customers of a shuttered Shallowford Road dry cleaners were again blocked from getting their items back on Wednesday, but property managers said the end of the trouble is in sight.
A family illness among the property owners prevented the Good Cents Cleaners from opening as scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, said property manager Mehul Amin. He works for Mahendra Amin, who owns the property and another now-closed cleaners on Thompson Bridge Road.
A note posted to the door of the business said customers could retrieve their clothes until 6 p.m. Wednesday, leaving the couple of dozen people who turned up for their items only to find locked doors even more frustrated by the situation.
“I’ve got somewhere between $360 and $450 or $500 in there,” said Jim Neukum, who had about a dozen shirts in the cleaners. “I can afford to walk away from that, but it’s irritating.”
Mehul Amin, noting that the family illness interrupted plans on Wednesday, said the business would be open beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and in the morning on Friday and Saturday to return clothes and other items to their owners.
“We’ll be opening again taking care of all of the customers,” Mehul Amin said. “We got rid of almost 70 percent of the clothes, which were taken … by the previous owner.”
Both Mehul and Mahendra Amin said almost all of the items all of the items from the Thompson Bridge Road property have been cleared and the Shallowford Road cleaners would be emptied by the end of the week.
Mahendra Amin owned the businesses for 16 years before selling them in November to Chad Abell, who the former owner says abandoned the properties at the end of March. Since then, the former owner has been scrambling to open the business to former customers.
Mehul Amin said Abell, who is listed online as owning more than one dry cleaning business but who has not responded to requests for comment from The Times, owes Mahendra Amin more than $120,000 on his five-year lease that has also been abandoned.
“I don’t know,” Mahendra Amin said of attempts to find Abell. “We don’t care about him now. We just care about the customers and we want to get them their clothes back. We’ll have a look with Chad next week or something. Not now.”
The property owners are gathering their records and intend to file a lawsuit against Abell with the Hall County Magistrate Court in the coming days, Mehul Amin said.
Customers at the property on Wednesday, including 14-year customer Charlie Pearce, said the business was run well under Amin, but began to fall apart after November.
“He knew he was going to close on the 31st (of March) — that was his last day,” Mehul Amin said. “He has taken the clothes from the customers until the 31st.”
One customer of Good Cents Cleaners, Herbert Teague, said he continued to use the business after Amin sold it in November. While the new operators “didn’t appear to be as knowledgeable” about the business — they had trouble finding items and were unprofessional, according to Teague — Teague said he didn’t suspect anything was off about the cleaners until the doors snapped shut in March.