Restaurant buyout and refurb leads to bankruptcy

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

The purchase and remodel of Kefi contributed to Sweet and Savory’s short-term debt, prompting the owner, Rob Shapiro, to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Rob Shapiro, the owner of Sweet and Savory, said the decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, Oct. 29 was based on the company’s need to restructure the short-term debt it accrued. One of the biggest contributors to that short-term debt was the opening of the new addition to the Sweet and Savory brand — the Pub at Sweet and Savory after purchasing Kefi in April 2012 and undertaking an extensive remodel. 

“The (new) pub opened eight weeks late and $200,000 over budget so it burned up all my cash for the winter,” Shapiro said. “It’s really nice now, but I was buried under short-term debt and I didn’t have enough cash.”

Shapiro said he completed the remodeling and development of the pub without a loan but has been unable to secure a loan to pay off his debts for the past two months. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows for businesses, corporations or individuals to reorganize and restructure their assets and debts to pay off creditors during a longer period of time. Shapiro said he is confident this process will benefit his company. 

“This is going to actually stabilize the business and properly capitalize the business and make us a much healthier business going forward,” he said. “We have a very bright future, but I just basically needed to put all the creditors on hold so I can make it through the winter. We want to emerge from Chapter 11 between March and June next year.” 

Despite filing for bankruptcy, Shapiro said 2012 has been the company’s most profitable year to date and that the pub has stabilized itself. 

“I am actually starting to spend a lot more time in [Sweet and Savory] now because the pub is stable, the food is good, the service has picked up a lot, and now I want to give some more tender loving care to Sweet and Savory,” Shapiro said. “My plan next year is that we will be able to make $600,000 to $700,000 and I will be able to pay off the debt. We are open for business and plan to be for many years to come.” 

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