M & Co Services, operator of the award-winning Woodford restaurant in South Woodford, north east London, has gone in to administration owing at least £50,000 to four separate creditors.
Creditors were notified of the company’s voluntary liquidation on 14 February. The restaurant was still trading up until yesterday (15 February) lunchtime when diners were reportedly ushered out suddenly and the locks changed. It has since closed and is not currently accepting reservations.
M & Co Services was incorporated on 19 January 2016 and has no accounts filed on Companies House. Moneer Saeed Gul is the director of the company.
The Woodford opened in March 2016 with head chef Ben Murphy at the helm, later winning the Evening Standard newspaper’s London Restaurant of the Year award, and gaining a positive review from the late AA Gill.
Murphy left in November last year and has taken on a new role at D&D London’s Launceston Place in Kensington, London.
The restaurant is owned by landlord R and I Properties (Essex). The directors are Ian Rudgeley and Robert Howe. Steven Andrews, who has previously been described as the owner of the Woodford in press reports, resigned his directorship in June 2016. Rudgeley and Howe operate several other hospitality businesses, including a bars in Chelmsford, Essex, called CTZN and one in Romford, Essex, called Kosho. None of their businesses has entered administration. The Caterer was unable to reach them for a comment.
Olly Roe, managing director of Fisher and Woods and Isherwood Fish Wholesalers Ltd (IFish) supplied the Woodford with produce from November 2016 and is owed in excess of £13,000 across both companies.
Roe said: “I spoke to a young girl in the restaurant yesterday and she said that she hadn’t been paid for a month, but was still going in and dealing with the suppliers who were aggrieved. She said ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if we ceased trading today’ and that’s what happened.
“Of course it has a bad effect on the business, but more than anything it’s frustrating. Every year this happens – if companies aren’t doing well they never pull the plug at the end of November, they’ll trade through December, when it comes to the end of January and they have to pay their suppliers, they pull the plug.”
Marrfish, which supplied the restaurant with around £1,000 of fish a week is now owed £10,707.
Managing director Andrew Jackson said: “Although we are part of the Andrew Marr International group, we are just an independent business and we only have a debt provision of £30,000 a year. A third of that has now been wiped out. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it has a real knock-on effect.”
Creditors have been invited to attend a meeting later this month to claim for any outstanding debt.
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