Toronto restaurants owned by celeb chef Mark McEwan file for creditor protection
McEwan Enterprises Inc. — which is behind restaurants such as One Restaurant and Fabbrica, as well as a catering business and McEwan Fine Foods supermarkets — claimed more than a whopping $10 million in liabilities when it filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) at the end of September.
This included nearly $540,000 in overdue or deferred rent, as well as millions owed to suppliers, banks and shareholders, reports the Globe.
Though the court filing details how the Top Chef Canada star's eateries were forced to shutter for 10 of the last 18 months due to COVID-19, leading to a "liquidity crisis," they also show that some assets have been "underperforming for a number of years," which has impacted the business overall despite the success and prestige of establishments like One.
Even with nearly $4-million of subsidies and loans from the federal government, temporary layoffs and arranged postponements of rent and lease expenditures, the business claims that it will run out of funds to cover itself by the end of this month.
McEwan Enterprises — 55% owned by Fairfax Financial, the rest by Mark McEwan — is essentially proposing to sell the business to itself, assuming most liabilities except two leases on money-losing locations: the food hall at Yonge & Bloor, and the Fabbrica restaurant at Don Mills. https://t.co/2GaMGiwAJw— Susan K Robertson (@susinsky) October 4, 2021
The plan appears to be a transfer of McEwan Enterprises to a new corporation, also to be owned by McEwan and partners, excluding a few outlying leases.
McEwan has been known over the course of the health crisis to air his grievances about Premier Doug Ford's public health restrictions, demanding this time last year that Ford "lead Ontario back to work safely. Shut downs are a mistake. Do the right thing and lead the economy back!"
He called the shutdown of many sectors of the economy (like hospitality) unjustified, mentally and fiscally unhealthy, and said the government was being "unfair to restaurants."
Doug Ford needs to understand that restaurants need indoor dining to supplement for rain bursts which are happening daily. Set up rain bust !set up rain bust! You have been wildly unfair to restaurants, this lockdown needs to end. @fordnation— Mark McEwan (@Chef_MarkMcEwan) July 3, 2021
"It astonishes me that the government actually believes that staying closed is even an option any longer. You'd think that there would be a greater sense of urgency... we're the most locked down of anyone in the G7 anywhere," he told blogTO while the province was limited to patio-only dining this summer.
"They have just so mistreated the food service business — try to tell me that my restaurant at 50 per cent capacity with all sorts of protocols in place is not safer than a Costco or a Walmart."
Join the conversation Load comments