New restaurants have opened in the former sites of Bourgee restaurants in Southend and Chelmsford, Essex, following their closure last month.
The Bourgee restaurant chain fell into administration and “despite exhaustive efforts” to retain sites, three of the group’s branches located in Southend-on-Sea, Chelmsford and Bury St Edmunds were closed.
A statement from James Welling and Mark Baumann, who founded Bourgee restaurants in 2014 said the closures followed a “protracted dispute and lengthy discussions between all parties”.
It continued: “Despite exhaustive efforts to purchase and retain all venues, a way forward could not be agreed.”
Referring to the closed sites, Bourgee’s statement confirmed: “These units are no longer part of the Bourgee restaurant brand, and will be trading under a new company name. They will have no association whatsoever with Bourgee or with us individually.”
Mark Upton and David Scrivener of Ensors Accountants were appointed as joint administrators on 26 April.
Two of the sites have since reopened as branches of Colenzo. Records filed with Companies House list Anthony and Dominique Tropeano as the directors of the group, both of who had been active directors of the Bourgee chain.
The Bourgee Bites – Bar – Luxe Lounge at London Southend Airport will continue trading under Welling and Baumann’s ownership. They also hope to announce “exciting news regarding new Bourgee restaurant venues” soon, starting a “new era” for the brand.
Customers with gift vouchers for Bourgee restaurants have been told they will be accepted at the Bourgee Bites – Bar – Luxe Lounge and any new sites, which are expected to start opening this summer.
The change had left some customers confused over where vouchers could be claimed, with some writing on Colenzo’s Facebook page to complain that it would not be accepting them.
Addressing the complaints Colenzo’s wrote on social media: “We are very sorry that we are unable to accept Bourgee restaurant gift vouchers at Colenzo’s.
“Although Colenzo’s is a new business, we have offered positions to previous Bourgee employees and are continuing to offer a similar menu to allow the restaurants to trade in the meantime whilst staff training and new menus are developed which are hoped to be introduced later this year.
“We are unable to accept Bourgee gift vouchers as Bourgee Chelmsford and Southend entered administration, therefore they are unable to return the value of these vouchers to Colenzo’s. We apologise for any misunderstanding and inconvenience caused.”
The Caterer has contacted Colenzo’s for comment.