Once the coronavirus pandemic hit and the U.S. population realized it would last longer than the two-week quarantine everyone initially thought, it became clear that bankruptcies would be on the horizon for some restaurants.
Among independent restaurants, we saw declarations of bankruptcy from Stephen Starr, Maison Kayser, BarFly and more.
Some of these brands were already in trouble before the pandemic. Months of indoor-dining restrictions, layoffs, the added costs of sanitation protocols didn’t help.
By Chloe declared bankruptcy, despite a legal battle with founder Chloe Coscarelli, who was pushed out after the first year. She was later awarded 50% ownership before the company filed for reorganization, citing COVID. The investor group that acquired the brand will be required to change the name.
There was interest from larger organizations and chains in acquiring smaller chains that have declared bankruptcy in the last year.
HopCat, which declared bankruptcy in June (citing COVID-related restaurant closures) was purchased just four months later. Congruent Investment Partners and Main Street Capital acquired all of parent company BarFly’s assets — including HopCat, Stella’s and Grand Rapids Brewing company — for $17.5 million.
Bruxie was also restructured in bankruptcy and acquired by TCGM Holding Company.
Some restaurant groups, however, didn’t receive the attention or funding to rebuild post-pandemic. Mr. Bing, a New York-based bing chain, closed all units and divested all assets after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
See which restaurants declared bankruptcy this year and which ones have been purchased out of bankruptcy.