Group includes restaurants in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool
Administrators have been appointed to the Blackhouse brand, which includes Grill on New York Street and Grill on the Alley in Manchester, Grill on the Square in Leeds and Grill on the Corner in Glasgow, as well as Olive restaurant in Liverpool.
We have explored every avenue possible to try to save the business
The Blackhouse Grill restaurant business, whose parent company is Living Ventures, was due to exit a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) process it had agreed with creditors. This already involved the closure of the four sites, but even after the industry begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurants in the group are now unlikely to reopen at all.
Managing director of Blackhouse, Scott Grimbleby, has said: "We have explored every avenue possible to try to save the business, however we have been left with no choice but to take this incredibly difficult decision now. We are working with all our teams to try and support them as best we can through this time. The administrators will be seeking to find a buyer for the businesses."
The Blackhouse steakhouse brand was already struggling after recording post-tax losses of £1.3m in the year ending March 2018. In the same year, two other restaurants in the Living Ventures group, Artisan and the flagship Manchester House in Spinningfields, were both suddenly placed into administration following a ‘period of difficult trading.’
In an arrangement with private investors, the former Manchester House chef-proprietor Aiden Byrne relaunched Manchester House as Restaurant MCR just over a year later. Byrne then went on to launch the D&D-owned 20 Stories, round the corner on Quay Street, which he left a year later.
Administrators Duff & Phelps will be leading the Blackhouse process. Other Living Ventures venues in Manchester including Australasia and Sunset in Spinningfields, as well as Grand Pacific on King Street, are currently unaffected.