Ignite Restaurant Group (“Ignite”) filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division today (Case no. 17-33550). Ignite operates 137 Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap restaurants, including three international franchise locations in Dubai. Ignite employs 8,400 people, including 2,900 full-time (both salaried and hourly) employees. Ignite’s bankruptcy schedules list $197 million in liabilities and $153 million in assets.

In its bankruptcy filings, Ignite cites to declines in comparable restaurant sales and income from operations at both Joe’s and Brick House. The company also notes that it has closed underperforming restaurants, including a location in Newark, NJ which had opened in 2013.

Ignite determined that a sale of the Company’s assets would result in the best recovery for its stakeholders and arrived in bankruptcy with a proposed purchaser in hand. On June 5, 2017 Ignite entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Kelly Investment Group, a stalking horse bidder that previously purchased Champps and Fox & Hound restaurants out of bankruptcy.

If you are a landlord or trade creditor of Ignite, it is important to know your rights now. Stark & Stark’s Shopping Center Group can help. Our bankruptcy attorneys regularly represent landlords throughout the country, including recently in the Eastern District of Missouri, District of New Jersey, Southern District of New York, District of Delaware, District of Minnesota and Eastern District of Pennsylvania on a variety of issues. Most recently, our Group has represented landlords and trade creditors in the Payless, Eastern Outfitters (EMS Part 2), EMS, Golfsmith, RadioShack, General Wireless (RadioShack Part 2), Gander Mountain, A&P, Joyce Leslie, Rue21, Central Grocers, and Sports Authority Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

For more information feel free to contact the author of this blog.