Bamboo Sushi and QuickFish owner declares bankruptcy

Published on
May 13, 2020

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.-based Sustainable Restaurant Holdings (SRH), has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

SRH, which operates Bamboo Sushi and QuickFish, announced its “plan to restructure the business and find new capital in an effort to proactively address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the restaurant group said in a press release.

SRH has also received a commitment for up to USD 1.9 million (EUR 1.8 million) in debtor-in-possession financing led by the Bain Capital Double Impact fund.

COVID-19 has required the company to limit restaurant operations and has “significantly affected its ability to generate revenue,” Sustainable Restaurant Holdings said.

However, SRH said it does not intend to close any of its 10 restaurants. 

“SRH intends to continue to operate its restaurants on the limited basis required by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company remains committed to its goal of rehiring furloughed workers and resuming operations at its restaurants as soon as the health risks related to COVID-19 subside and government restrictions are lifted,” it said.

The company continues to offer pick-up and delivery at several of its Bamboo Sushi locations in the Portland area.

“Subject to approval from the Court, the DIP financing, combined with the company’s available cash, will provide sufficient liquidity for SRH to continue to compensate and provide benefits to its current employees and meet its post-chapter 11 filing obligations to vendors and other business partners,” SRH said.

“We are facing the same challenges as many other consumer-focused businesses, especially those in the restaurant industry,” SRH President and Interim CEO Matthew Park said. “In this environment, we simply are not able to generate sufficient revenue to meet our day-to-day and long-term obligations. As a result, during the last several weeks, we diligently explored all available options to address our financial situation and preserve the long-term viability of SRH.”

Bain Capital Double Impact Fund owns roughly 35 percent of SRH, with former CEO and founder Kristofor Lofgren owns around 42 percent, according the bankruptcy petition filed in Delaware. Lofgren was removed from his position as CEO in March 2020 and is suing the company for USD 4.7 million (EUR 4.3 million), alleging Bain of attempting to “loot the corporation,” according to Bloomberg Law.

Bain has thus far invested USD 15 million (EUR 13.9 million) into SRH and has been trying to sell the business since March, according to Bloomberg.

SRH reported about USD 18 million (EUR 16.6 million) in revenue in 2019 and listed between USD 1 million and USD 10 million (EUR 924,500 and EUR 9.2 million) worth of liabilities in its bankruptcy filing.

“Our goal is to emerge from this process as quickly as possible with a strengthened balance sheet and the necessary capital to rehire our furloughed employees and resume operations at our restaurants whenever it is safe to do so,” Park added.

Park thanked the restaurant company’s suppliers and customers for their outreach and support.

“We recognize that Bamboo Sushi is an institution in Portland and we take that responsibility seriously. You have inspired us to continue fighting for this brand,” he said. “We served about 500,000 meals in Portland last year and are working tirelessly to serve Green Machines and other signature dishes as we move through this unexpected crisis. We look forward to emerging from this process as a stronger company and continuing our business relationships for many years to come.”

Photo courtesy of Quickfish

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