Rhona Silver, a prominent second-generation caterer and entrepreneur from Long Island best known for running the famed Huntington Townhouse, died on Monday. She was 66.
Silver grew up in the Bronx, where she got her start in the catering business, before moving to LI and graduating from Hofstra School of Law. She owned the Huntington Townhouse—billed as the largest catering hall in the nation at one point—for a decade until she sold it in 2007, when Lowes demolished it to build a home improvement store.
The sale sparked several lawsuits, including one in which she reportedly alleged her ex-boyfriend, developer Barry Newman, stole her $6-million cut of the $38-million real estate transaction for the 20-acre property on Jericho Turnpike. That suit is still pending, court records show. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Lowes dropped its plans to build the store in 2011 when it closed several locations nationwide. The location is now a Target.
Silver made national headlines when she offered $1 million to help Martha Stewart pay her legal bills in exchange for a chance to run the domestic diva’s company while Stewart was facing federal charges in 2004.
After selling the Townhouse, she and her children launched CaterBid, an online platform that connected clients with caterers.
Her funeral was held at New Montefiore Cemetery in Pinelawn under direction of Dodge Thomas Funeral Home, Long Islander News reported.