One of Toronto's most beloved restaurant empires could be on the brink of bankruptcy.
King Street Company Inc., the organization that owns Jacobs And Co. Steakhouse, Buca, La Banane and Kensington chocolate shop CXBO Chocolates, has announced that it is in financial trouble after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release issued November 9, the company said it has obtained creditor protection and would attempt to "restructure its businesses and financial affairs."*
According to the request submitted under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), the restaurant group owes more than $34 million to its creditors and has not been able to pay that sum back due to COVID-19 closures.*
The COVID-19 Pandemic has put us in an extremely difficult situation that was beyond our control.
Peter Tsebelis, Managing Director & Partner of King Street Company Inc.
"Alongside the entire hospitality sector, the COVID-19 Pandemic has put us in an extremely difficult situation that was beyond our control," said Peter Tsebelis, managing director and partner of King Street Company Inc.
"This was an emotional decision for us but we are confident that the CCAA process will give us time to stabilize our business and ultimately put us in a stronger position to build on our successful brands as we emerge from the COVID crisis."
All of King Street Company Inc.'s restaurants have been closed for dine-in since the first shutdowns in March, with Buca offering takeout and delivery from its 2 St. Clair Ave. W. location.
The company owes more than $22,000 in rent on their Bar Buca restaurant on Eglinton Avenue, according to a notice that was posted on the location's front door by the property's landlord in October.
In the release, King Street Company Inc. says it is still planning on re-opening Jacobs & Co., La Banane, and Buca locations once indoor dining returns to Toronto.
But if the company is unable to emerge from creditor protection and declares bankruptcy, the closures would be the latest additions to a long list of restaurants killed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Editor's note: This article has been updated.