Manchester city centre steakhouse next to go as Blackhouse group seeks CVA

Manchester city centre steakhouse Grill on the Alley looks set to close as the Blackhouse group begins an insolvency process.

Confidential contacted Blackhouse's managing director Scott Grimbleby on Monday, following news that the group had suddenly closed Grill on the Market, close to London's Smithfield Market.

In a statement, the group confirmed they were seeking a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with their creditors, in order to restructure their portfolio (by which they mean to close underperforming sites).

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Grill on the Alley opened in 2006

The statement

Blackhouse Restaurants Limited can confirm it is seeking a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors.

As part of this process we are closing our London restaurant, Grill on the Market, with immediate effect. We are also proposing to close one of our Manchester restaurants, Grill on the Alley, following consultation with staff and ahead of the building’s planned redevelopment by the landlord next year.

Any customers with reservations in Grill on the Alley who may be affected will be contacted and offered a transfer to our other Manchester restaurant, Grill on New York Street. It is our intention to refund any customer deposits paid in advance for bookings at the two restaurants affected by these plans.

We are confident that our creditors will support our proposals and following this process we will be in a position to make a success of a smaller but high-quality portfolio.

Speaking to Confidential, Living Ventures CEO Jeremy Roberts said: "In truth it’s (Grill on the Alley) been closing for a couple of years as the landlord is redeveloping the building next year."

Roberts said the lease had in fact ended in 2015, but that the "good news is Grill on New York Street has a long lease and lots of the staff will be transferring".

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Grill on New York Street will remain open

The announced closure is the third in less than a month for parent company Living Ventures - which closed Artisan and Manchester House suddenly on October 9th.

According to documents filed with Companies House, the Blackhouse group was owed almost half a million pounds collectively by Artisan and Manchester House when they were closed.

LV say Grill on the Alley's sister restaurant, the Grill on New York Street, near Piccadilly Gardens, will remain open. Blackhouse also has restaurants in Glasgow and Leeds.

Both the Grill on the Alley and Grill on New York Street were closed for a period in 2017 to undergo refurbishment, relaunching with new menus, a more 'contemporary feel' and Himalayan rock salt chambers.