Chester’s popular Boujee bar and restaurant has been acquired by one of its founding directors, following the appointment of Lisa Moxon and Ben Barrett of Dow Schofield Watts Business Recovery as joint administrators. All 32 staff members have been saved as a result of the deal.
The eatery was a popular spot for students and young professionals, known for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious cocktails. Located in Chester city centre, the bar and restaurant will continue to serve residents and visitors alike.
We are pleased to see that the business has been able to continue operating despite these challenging times. Thanks to the hard work of the team at Dow Schofield Watts Business Recovery, another local business has been saved from closure.
Boujee bought out of administration
Boujee, the all-pink ‘Instagrammable’ restaurant chain, has reportedly sold off its Chester restaurant in a ‘pre-pack deal’, just two weeks after the closure of its Manchester site was revealed. The company, which has been trading for less than two years, is said to have appointed administrators following the collapse of rent talks with its landlord. Boujee opened its first restaurant in Liverpool in 2018 and quickly gained a following thanks to its vibrant décor and photogenic food.
However, the business has struggled to turn a profit, and the closure of its Manchester site earlier this month sparked fears that the company was in difficulties. The sale of the Chester restaurant will see all 17 staff made redundant, although it is hoped that a buyer will be found who will reopen the business. This latest development is a blow to the high street, which is already struggling in the face of online competition and rising rents.
The restaurant in Pepper Street is one of three operating under the distinctive Boujee brand. The first opened in Liverpool in December 2020, just before the second lockdown. Despite the pandemic restrictions, it proved popular with a younger audience and a second venue opened in Manchester in May 2021, together with a pop-up venue at the Trafford Centre.
This was followed by the launch of the Chester venue in November 2021. The Boujee brand is known for its inventive and stylish cuisine, which draws on influences from around the world. The menu features both small plates and sharing dishes, making it perfect for groups of friends or family.
There is also an extensive drinks menu, with something to suit every taste. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a boozy night out, the restaurant in Pepper Street is sure to have something to suit your needs.
Deal came too late to save jobs in Manchester and Liverpool
The staff at the Manchester and Liverpool sites are extremely disappointed with the recent turn of events. The staff have been waiting months for their unpaid wages and tips resorting finally to walking out in order to be heard. Although the deal comes as a relief, it sadly comes too late to protect the jobs of those who have already been let go. The workers are urging other businesses to learn from their mistakes and to ensure that their employees are treated fairly. Only time will tell if this warning is heeded.
At the end of June, Boujee’s staff was disappointed to learn that they would not be receiving their full pay for the month. In a company-wide message, management explained that they had exhausted all avenues and that the revenue from the next two weekends was needed in order to make the payments in full.
While this news was frustrating for employees, they understand that the company is in a difficult financial situation and are hopeful that they will be paid in full soon. In the meantime, they continue to work hard and provide great service to customers.
“Today we will be making a payment to all employees of 40 per cent of their total wage. On Monday we will make a second payment and this will be 30 per cent of their total wage plus 50 per cent of the service charge for the month.
“The following Monday we will pay the remaining 30 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent of the service charge.
“We are extremely sorry that it has come to this and I assure you we are doing all we can to get back on track and our team are vital in this path to recovery. We fully appreciate this is not acceptable and we thank you for your hard work, support and loyalty through what has been a very challenging time.”
A statement by administrator Lisa Moxon on the sale of the Chester restaurant, said: “The hospitality sector has faced tough times during and since the pandemic which have taken their toll on the Boujee business
“The company’s initial trade-in was positive despite the Covid restriction at the time, although during the lockdowns it made a loss and as a new business was unable to access the majority of Covid support packages.
With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.