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      Court appoints receiver for Blue Grotto restaurant

      A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has appointed a receiver to oversee the finances of the now-closed Blue Grotto restaurant in Providence.

      Judge Michael Silverstein on Friday appointed Stephen Del Sesto to temporarily oversee the assets related to the estate of the restaurant that ceased operations earlier this month after more than three decades in business.

      Del Sesto said the first step is to evaluate the financial situation and assess the assets currently in place. He said is too early to tell how much is owed but wouldn't be shocked if it was more than $500,000.

      Del Sesto said he's already given tours to two interested parties.

      "My hope is that we will find a buyer that will want to operate a restaurant out of this space. My greater hope is that, as a long time Rhode Islander, we'll find somebody who wants to operate this as the Blue Grotto or some variation of the Blue Grotto," Del Sesto said.

      In the meantime, Del Sesto said groups with secured debt like banks will get paid first, then employees, tax claimants, vendors and utility companies.

      Anyone with claims against the 200-seat restaurant should contact Del Sesto at the email address -- BlueGrottoReceiver@dbslawfirm.com.

      A court date has been set for July 15 to address permanent receivership status.

      NBC 10 contributed to this report.