The family of two men who drowned last summer is in a dispute over money with a local bar that hosted a fundraiser for the family.
Brothers Doug and Daniel Brown were best friends who did everything together, including swimming in the Chesapeake Bay.
In July, they drowned off a beach in Calvert County.
Doug Brown was a partner in Costa Brava, a tapas bar and restaurant in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood.
A fundraiser at Costa Brava in August raised about $3,000. According to Costa Brava’s Facebook page, the money raised was meant for the family.
“They said it was going to go to the Brown family, and we assumed that it was going to go to Daniel and Doug’s mom and James because she paid for the funeral and split it between three kids,” family member Melissa Brown said.
But shortly after the fundraiser, the bar went out of business.
“We sold the restaurant last week, finally, and we lost money on the place,” said Costa Brava partner John Bowen.
The family never received any of the $3,000 from the fundraiser.
According to one of the partners in Costa Brava, Doug Brown and his family are still responsible for Brown’s share of the failed business.
“So instead of handing them a bill for $20,000, we might hand them one for $17,000,” Bowen said.
If there is a debt, keeping money from the fundraiser meant for the children the brothers left behind isn’t the way to collect, the Browns said.
“He should put it on the estate then, on Doug’s estate,” Melissa Brown said. “If there’s a bill that Doug owes, that’s what people would do is they file it against the estate.”
“I’ll send her the three grand, but I’ll also send her the bills that he needs to pay,” Bowen said. “It’s as simple as that. We’re just trying to, less of a burden for Josh, the son.”
“That makes me want to call the attorney general and handle it through them, because you’re not allowed to do that,” Melissa Brown said.