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The DC Twitterverse lit up Friday night when the Wall Street Journal (?) reported the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Barracks Row Entertainment, the company behind the slew of neighborhood restaurants opened by Xavier Cervera, including the revamped Hawk & Dove, Lola's, Molly Malone's, Boxcar, Senart's, The Chesapeake Room, and Pacifico Cantina.
Barracks Row Entertainment is also behind the Park Tavern at Canal Park, and the will-it-ever-open Willie's Brew and 'Que at the Boilermaker Shops at the Yards, and those two entities are part of the bankruptcy as well. The filing says that the company has "between $1 million and $10 million in debt."
What does it all mean? I guess we will just have to see....
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Tom says: (3/30/14 1:31 AM)
Nothing systemically was changed since 2008. Same old banksters. Same old money printing. But Wiley E. Coyote's starting to recognize that he's running on air.


conngs0 says: (3/30/14 8:37 PM)
Very disappointing, but not particularly surprising. Some of these establishments clearly won't survive the bankruptcy proceedings or any possible liquidation, but hopefully most do. You'd think that Willie's has some of the best odds of doing well given its location in such a popular area. Park Tavern got a raw deal this winter with the fact that the ice skating rink didn't work until almost Christmas, and then it was too cold for skaters to come out after that. Hopefully it gets a shot at another year. Regardless, it's definitely not a good idea for so many restaurants to be under the same ownership. Hopefully multiple buyers emerge and can contribute to a little more variety for the Navy Yard and Barrack's Row neighborhoods.

In the meantime, best of luck to the many very good people who work in these restaurants. A bankruptcy filing surely doesn't mean they'll lose their jobs, but it certainly creates a bit more uncertainty than anyone would want hanging over them.


3of8 says: (3/31/14 11:48 AM)
I'm confused, is the restaurant group that is going bankrupt the one that bought the restaurants a few years ago?

link

If so, I wonder if in the transaction, they loaded the restaurants with debt from somewhere else in their portfolio as part of it. I've seen that happen before, acquisitions are just a vehicle to transfer debt, then let them die while your other assets have been relieved of their burdens. Seems like there should be more to this story.


JD says: (3/31/14 12:06 PM)
Here's the press release, via link

Barrack’s Row Ent. Group, LLC Files for Bankruptcy Under Chapter 11 of the United StatesBankruptcy Code

Washington, DC – Barrack’s Row Ent. Group, LLC announced today that in an effort to address and reorganize certain structural debt issues, it and its operating subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United StatesBankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia.

The Companies’ bar and restaurant operations are expected to continue as normal and staff, food, liquor vendors and suppliers will be timely paid going forward throughout the bankruptcy process as it works to reorganize its debt structure.

“Since August, 2013, margins have declined significantly. After careful consideration of available alternatives, we determined that a Chapter 11 filing was a prudent and necessary step to maintain and enhance operations and allow for a successful restructuring,” said William Nimmo, Managing Member of Barrack’s Row Holdings LLC.

The reorganization will be supervised by part-owner and CEO, Richard Cervera, a leading restaurateur and former CEO of the Taco Cabana chain, as well as Founder and CEO of Edun Ltd, the parent company of the Edun brand of sustainably made clothing co-founded by Bono and Ali Hewson. “Richard is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals in the restaurant industry, developed a cutting edge brand in Edun, and has even worked to enhance a venerable leading restaurant in Napa Valley. He has our full confidence to build on the great things we’ve got going while reordering the debt side of the house,” continued Nimmo.

“This reorganization will allow us to refocus our efforts on what is needed most: a rededication to quality food and a neighborhood atmosphere that reflects the unique nature of Capitol Hill and our loyal customer base of families, Hill staffers, neighbors and Nat’s fans looking to eat and drink before or after attending a home game. We have opened Hawk n’ Dove, as well as Park Tavern over the past year, and look to further expand with Willie’s BBQ and enhancements to our existing locations," said Nimmo.

Our restaurants will all carry on business as usual, though we will utilize the bankruptcy process to make improvements where needed in all aspects of operations. We expect to emerge from this restructuring intact and with a manageable balance sheet. On behalf of the entire ownership and management team, I want to thank our customers and vendors for their continued loyalty during this process and to recognize the dedicated team members whose continued support and commitment have been and remain crucial to the future success of our local businesses,” said Nimmo.


JD says: (3/31/14 1:49 PM)
And there's this from the Hill Rag:

link


According to a source within the company, Richard Cervera has returned to take the reins as “CEO.” Cevera, brother of the restaurants' founder Xavier Cervera, had been fired from by the restaurants' investors. Xavier Cervera, who been retained briefly afterward in a consulting role to try and stabilize the business, was very disappointed with his brother's management decisions.

Xavier Cevera and his business partner, who hold two large notes from the current owners, are numbered among the creditors.

Many of the long term staff have reacted to Richard Cervera's return by resigning. A mass exodus, according to one source, may be in the offing.

“I worked for Richard when he just reopened the Hawk'n'Dove. It was really brutal. He did not treat his employees very well,” Jack McAuliffe, a former Barracks Row Entertainment employee.

- See more at: link

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