Several popular Manchester bars shut their doors last week after their owner entered liquidation.
Walrus, The Blue Pig, Tusk and Rosylee in the Northern Quarter, and other venues in West Didsbury and Heaton Moor all shut up shop on Tuesday as Mark Andrew Developments – known as MAD Ltd – entered liquidation.
Jonathan Hawkins, one of the firm’s directors, confirmed the closure to the Manchester Evening News and said it had resulted in the loss of 125 jobs.
Starting with one bar in Didsbury in 2004, MAD Ltd grew to hold eleven venues, mainly concentrated in the Northern Quarter, near the firm’s head offices in MAD House on Stevenson Square. MAD House also housed MAD Printing.
Mr Hawkins said that the bar group’s problems started when they expanded to a new venue in the Printworks last December.
These losses prompted the bank to stop lending money to MAD Ltd, which was forced to close.
MAD Ltd’s liquidation follows a string of other hospitality closures in Manchester in recent months. Bars and restaurants including Manchester House, Artisan and The Rabbit have all stopped trading in the last few weeks alone.
Sacha Lord, Andy Burnham’s Night Time Economy Adviser and co-founder of the city’s popular Parklife music festival, said on Twitter: “Sadly, a large operator, with many bars in the Northern Quarter has just closed its doors and gone into liquidation.
“Some great bars amongst the group. I expect there will be a quick rescue package. Large job losses, I hope the operator deals with them correctly.”
Tom Fox, Umbrella Insolvency’s Licensed Insolvency Practitioner said: “MAD Ltd seems to have been placed in compulsory liquidation by one or more of its creditors. This happens when a company is insolvent and means that a company’s assets can be realised and distributed to creditors.
“If some of the firm’s venues are profitable, as seems to be the case, then some of the bars are likely to be taken over by other investors. But this process can take time.
“The future looks difficult for bars and restaurants in Greater Manchester. The Chancellor’s recent pledge to cut business rates by a third for 90% of independent shops, pubs and restaurants will help. And it can’t come quickly enough for some firms.”
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