Rumors that a local businessman was looking to take over the closed Blue Sky restaurant in York Beach were true.

But this weekend, Joe Lipton, who owns Inn on the Blues in York Beach, backed away from the deal. The fate of the restaurant — and the wedding reservations and deposits made there — remains uncertain.

The Blue Sky restaurant, in the Atlantic House Hotel on Beach Street, closed abruptly at the end of March when the owners were served with an eviction notice for failing to pay $20,000 in rent.

Signs outside the restaurant, posts on its Facebook page and an email sent to people who had reserved the space for events, including wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners, said the business would reopen soon.

That meant “any day now,” owner Don Rivers said in April. But the restaurant hasn’t reopened, and the hotel is now closed too, according to Lipton.

Repeated calls to the business seeking comment have not been returned, nor have messages left for the building owner or its lawyer, Steven Cope of Portland, according to court documents.

The building owner is Two Beach Street LLC, according to assessing records, which lists a Boston post office box for D&D Management as its contact information.

People who had reservations for events at the Blue Sky restaurant this spring, summer and fall have said they haven’t gotten calls back from the business, and have made other arrangements.

Some are pursuing avenues for getting their deposits back. Four people have filed complaints with the state Attorney General’s Office, none of which has been resolved, said spokeswoman Brenda Kielty.

One of the complaints was made by Ben Rocheleau of Westbrook, who planned to hold his wedding reception at the Blue Sky in September.

He and his fiancee, Bethany Pinkham, paid a $1,900 deposit on the venue in January — the same month Two Beach Street filed documents in York District Court claiming that Blue Sky owed nearly $20,000 in rent payments.

“That’s even more frustrating, knowing that they knew something was going on and saying, ‘Yeah, sure, we’ll take your money,’” Rocheleau said.

He and Pinkham were able to book the nearby Stage Neck Inn for the same day — and the same price — but losing the deposit means they probably won’t be able to go on a honeymoon anytime soon, Rocheleau said.

Lipton said he planned to honor the reservations already made at Blue Sky and to offer to discount the cost of each event by the amount of the deposit — something he has already offered to people who moved rehearsal dinners from Blue Sky to the lounge at his inn.

But after spending “a great deal of time and energy” on the deal, Lipton said, he realized that taking over the restaurant wouldn’t be the best business decision for him.

Lipton said he and his wife, who owns the Guac-N-Roll Cantina in York Beach, usually try some new business every couple of years, and Blue Sky was going to be their next venture.

But considering that tourist season has already started and they would have to try to open quickly while running their existing businesses, he said, “We decided it might not be the right move for us.”

Lipton said he doesn’t know of any other plans for reopening the restaurant or hotel.

“I just hope somebody does it and does it well,” he said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

[email protected]