Lenehans Bar & Grill – the chic Rathmines restaurant owned by husband and wife team Fiona McHugh and Paul Byrne – is seeking a bailout deal after a litigation adviser was appointed for the company behind the restaurant and bar under the new small business bailout program Financial emergency.
In an official statement this week, OCC Corporate Solutions’ Padraic Bermingham has been appointed as process advisor to Josta, the company behind Lenehan’s Bar & Grill, under the new Small Company Administrative Rescue Process (Scarp) aimed at streamlining out -of- Judicial Debt Restructuring for Viable Small Businesses.
Ms McHugh and Mr Byrne are best known as the founders of the well-known city center food hall Fallon & Byrne, which has weathered its own financial hardships in the past.
In early 2012, an auditor was appointed to the company Fallon & Byrne after it failed to pay a €1.4 million tax bill. Little did Mrs McHugh and Mr Byrne know that the company had accumulated significant tax arrears. The company emerged from scrutiny in April of the same year with a business plan supported by virtually all creditors.
Ms McHugh and Mr Byrne ended their involvement in Fallon & Byrne in early 2020 following the controversial closure of a business office in Rathmines.
Her current Lenehans Bar & Grill had opened in autumn 2019 – just weeks before the sudden closure of Fallon & Byrne store in the Swan Centre, just a short walk down the road.
On January 2, 2020, management suddenly closed the Fallon & Byrne branch at the Swan Centre. It reportedly owed €140,000 in rent and utilities to the center’s landlord, the Anderson family, who own the Omniplex cinema chain.
That Sunday independent reported that on New Year’s Eve 2019 – just days before the closure – Fallon & Byrne staff at the Rathmines branch were asked to remove stock and other fixtures as part of a “deep cleaning exercise”.
At the end of January 2020, Ms McHugh and Mr Byrne left the Fallon & Byrne business. An existing group of investors in the food company, led by Superquinn veteran Frank Murphy and restaurateur Brian Fallon, a former President of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, remained in the company and committed to further investment to build the chain’s flagship store on Exchequer Street in Dublin city centre to expand.
Meanwhile, the company behind Lenehans restaurant, Josta, is backed by investors including Fionan McDonagh through his Merrion Stockbrokers-managed pension fund and Cantor Fitzgerald’s bond trader Peter Costigan.
Fiona McHugh and Paul Byrne own 90 Josta while Peter Costigan owns 10. Fionan McDonagh’s pension fund is listed in company records as paying fees to Fallon & Byrne’s premises on Exchequer Street, Dublin.
Records show that a 25-year lease for the premises where Lenehans is located was signed in 2018, costing €150,000 a year. The estate is owned by Liam and Orla Lenehan of Rathgar. Mr Lenehan is a former director of an Irish arm of Savills estate agents.
https://www.independent.ie/business/mchugh-and-byrnes-lenehans-bar-and-grill-seeks-rescue-scheme-41919296.html McHugh and Byrne’s Lenehans Bar & Grill seeks rescue plan