Interim examiner appointed to Dublin’s Odessa restaurant

Judge hears 68 jobs at risk at insolvent Dublin city centre restaurant and club

The company behind Odessa owed the Revenue €132,192 since January last, including almost €78,000 VAT and €55,000 PAYE and PRSI.

The company behind Odessa owed the Revenue €132,192 since January last, including almost €78,000 VAT and €55,000 PAYE and PRSI.

 

A judge in the Circuit Civil Court has appointed an interim examiner to Odessa, a Dublin city centre club and restaurant.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard the company behind the Odessa, of 13/14 Dame Court, Dublin, was unable to pay its debts and if an examiner was not appointed, it would go into liquidation, with its 68 employees losing their jobs.

Barrister Ross Gorman said an independent accountant’s report on the business indicated that under a scheme of examinership the company, Odessa Club and Restaurant Ltd, had a reasonable prospect of survival.

Judge Linnane heard that the company owed the Revenue €132,192 since January last, including almost €78,000 VAT and €55,000 PAYE and PRSI.

The company had debts totalling over €1 million and was insolvent.

Mr Gorman told the court that under examinership, the Odessa’s unsecured creditors would receive some dividend and may be able to trade profitably with the company into the future.

He said the company had purchased the restaurant and club from another company in 2008, along with the business liabilities, the full extent of which had only come to light after the purchase.

Mr Gorman said that Odessa had been short of working capital from the start and directors Eoin Foyle and Peter O’Kennedy had to “fire fight” to keep the company trading.

The court heard that the company was currently paying Ulster Bank almost €5,000 per month in respect of capital and interest payments for a loan contracted to purchase the business.

Mr Gorman said the club had continued to trade profitably, but the restaurant business had declined as the competition has increased “dramatically” in the area during the past three years.

He said the premises, which comprised of six floors, with a basement, five bars, two restaurants and two kitchens, had no lifts.

Meals and food had to be transported by hand, which required the hiring of extra staff. The larger restaurant, with a capacity of 130, spread over two floors and the smaller one, on the first floor, had a capacity of 55.

The court was told that the company, which was in discussion with a third party to secure an investment, would restructure the restaurant section by keeping only the smaller one and renting out the other one.

Mr Gorman said some redundancies may be expected but the company was hoping that most of the staff from the larger restaurant would be kept by a third-party operator, who is prepared to rent it out.

Judge Linanne directed the appointment of Joseph Walsh, of Hughes Blake Accountants, as interim examiner to the company.

She also directed the company to advertise its application for the appointment of an examiner and put on notice Ulster Bank, the Revenue, Dublin City Council and other creditors.

The judge adjourned the matter to a date next month.

The court heard that the company prided itself on providing fine food, drinks and an entertainment venue and had an extensive list of wines, craft beers and artisan cuisine sourced from local producers.