Pelican House files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection

Four months after closing, the owners of Pelican House have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

The bar and restaurant owes $212,553.67 to unsecured creditors, according to a petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The company’s assets total only about $265, records show.

The restaurant opened in Citiplace Court in 2013 as a bar specializing in high-end beers and whiskeys. Records show that four days after closing in early March, the company sold about $42,000 worth of equipment—$38,000 of which was used to pay secured debt to IberiaBank. The restaurant still owes another $129,883.16 in unsecured debt to IberiaBank, which is the largest single debt.

Pelican House owes money to just over two dozen unsecured creditors, including several local vendors and suppliers, as well as Brinker Louisiana, the property owners, which is owed $29,662.50 in monthly rent and tax escrow and an additional $24,741.95 in reimbursement for 2017 property taxes.

The records also show that revenue for Pelican House, which added a full restaurant menu in September, had been steadily declining prior to its closing. In 2016, the business generated roughly $1.2 million in revenue. That figured dropped to $804,000 in 2017, records show, while the restaurant made $129,163 between the start of this year and its closure.

Chef Gavin Jobe had a 50% ownership stake in the company. He partnered with Robert Wood, Christopher Juge, Tim Crochet and Phillip Beard for the venture,  

The restaurant had a five-year lease in place when it closed, with a $12,741.75 monthly rent and monthly tax escrow of $2,076.

At the restaurant’s closure, Jobe, Beard and assistant general manager Ryan Fitzgerald released a statement blaming the restaurant’s demise on a difficult location and unforeseen financial issues. They also asked for Baton Rouge “to raise its culinary standards.”

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