Denver seafood restaurant files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – The Denver Post


Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar hasn’t had it easy since it opened in September 2020.

Like much of the food industry, the seafood restaurant at 500 E. 19th St. in Uptown has experienced a traffic slowdown due to the pandemic and is struggling with a staff shortage.

A month after its opening, the business was continued by the former tenant of his space.

And last week, the restaurant owned by Richard Manzo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – largely to end ongoing litigation.

“The litigation and the downturn in business led to the perfect storm,” said Jamie Buechler of law firm Buechler, who represents the restaurant in bankruptcy proceedings. “The restaurant needed this bankruptcy to survive these cold winter months. But once the weather turns in the spring and the patio can open up, the hope is that people will come back in droves. “

According to the record, Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar – technically Seafood Junkie LLC – owes approximately 20 creditors $ 258,009 and has assets worth $ 57,500.

The restaurant said it had gross revenue of $ 208,354 in 2020. As of the October 14 filing date, the company’s 2021 revenue was $ 1.1 million.

Businesses use Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize and keep the business alive, paying creditors over time.

The lawsuit against the restaurant was filed in October 2020 by Marg’s Taco Bistro, who alleged that the restaurant did not pay $ 30,000 for the transfer of a liquor license after entering into a purchase agreement. assets in 2019.

Provided by Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar

Uptown Restaurant serves fresh seafood daily.

Four days after filing for bankruptcy, the case was closed.

Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the new Subchapter V, which was introduced last March and is an abbreviated version of the usual process designed for small businesses. Companies that have filed a Subchapter V claim can require creditors to agree to court-approved repayment plans of three to five years.

“There is a secured creditor, Webbank, which from what I understand is a factoring company and the debtor was factoring their credit cards,” Buechler said. “This deal has now ended, but they still owe money and have a lien on some of the debtor’s cash accounts. We have filed a request to be able to use this money to pay for the ordinary expenses of the company.

“The bankruptcy court approved our cash collateral order and, among other things, the debtor was able to obtain the consent of the secured creditor for this use of the cash collateral,” Buechler said. “This will allow us to continue to operate and use the receivables while we are bankrupt to pay the debts, pay the employees, pay the rent and ultimately form the basis of a reorganization plan.”

Buechler said the restaurant “spent hundreds of thousands of dollars” to repair its unit before it opened. Its rotating menu features fresh seafood delivered by air daily, including oysters from both coasts, wild Tasmanian sea trout, and ahi tuna poke. The kitchen also has a 2,500 gallon lobster tank designed by a marine biologist that keeps seashells fresh for over two weeks.

Before opening the Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar, Manzo tested his concept with the Lobster Bliss food truck. Prior to that, he worked for the Den Corner restaurant group, which owns Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, and Ototo in Platt Park.

“Now it really depends on how much money the business can generate over time to use some of it to pay off creditors,” Buechler said. “And we hope that now that the economy is recovering, people start to go out to eat more and that they can rebuild this business.”


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Raymond I. Langston

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