Investment firm Sortis Holdings Inc. has acquired Sustainable Restaurant Holdings Inc., parent to the Bamboo Sushi and QuickFish brands, out of bankruptcy, the company announced this week.
Prior Sustainable Restaurant investors Bain Capital Double Impact and Kitchen Fund, which led a strategic investment in 2018, have reinvested in the Portland, Ore.-based restaurant company, though financial details were not released.
Sustainable Restaurant Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, citing the strain from coronavirus-related restrictions that forced company officials to reassess whether they could survive post-COVID-19.
Sustainable Restaurant Holdings was founded in 2008 in Portland as a company dedicated to sustainably sourced seafood and environmentally designed restaurants.
Bamboo Sushi founder and former CEO Kristofor Lofgren, left, was not a “releasing party” in the Delaware U.S. Bankruptcy Court deal. Lofgren, who was ousted as CEO in April, has sued Bain Capital, its fund manager and Sustainable, over his termination.
Lofgren’s termination lawsuit was filed May 1 in State of Oregon circuit court for the County of Multnomah, where Portland is located.
Sortis said it will operate nine locations across Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area, and Denver and “anticipates future growth.”
“We are thrilled to bring our team’s experience, ideas and energy to the Bamboo Sushi brand,” said Paul Brenneke, founder and executive chairman at Sortis Holdings, in a statement. “It had poor timing for its rapid growth opening four restaurants in the months prior to the pandemic’s once-in-a-lifetime impact, but it’s the kind of company that we believe will survive and thrive in a post-pandemic world.”
Three Bamboo Sushi locations in Portland are open for takeout and delivery, and the remainder are closed because of COVID-19. The two QuickFish units remain closed.
Sortis said it intends to reopen the restaurants in accordance with all state and municipal guidelines.
Sortis said it will retain members of Sustainable Restaurant Holdings’ existing management team and will add members from its own hospitality team.
Sortis made the Bamboo Sushi investment through its Sortis Rescue Fund LLC, a distressed-investment fund that it also used to acquire Rudy’s Barbershops out of bankruptcy in May.
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