Gary Rhodes warns Rhodes @ The Dome operator over suppliers

25 February 2014 by
Gary Rhodes warns Rhodes @ The Dome operator over suppliers

Gary Rhodes will continue his agreement with Rhodes @ The Dome despite the company that ran the restaurant going into liquidation.

RTD1, which changed its name from Rhodes @ The Dome in January this year, entered voluntary liquidation earlier this month, although the restaurant continues to trade.

The company had been run by local restaurateur and former professional rugby player Ed Steven, who used it to help set up the 150-cover restaurant in what used to be a museum building on Plymouth Hoe, overlooking Plymouth Sound, when it opened 13 months ago.

However, the running of the restaurant has now been taken over by a new operating company called The Dome (Plymouth), of which Steven is also a director.
A statement of affairs for RTD1 revealed that the company owes over £400,000 to creditors, including £240,000 to Royal Bank of Scotland, and nearly £120,000 in VAT and PAYE to the taxman.

New contracts

Rhodes' manager Caroline Teeling from GR Management said the chef was also owed money, but had reached an agreement with the new company.

She added: "Gary Rhodes will continue to work with the new structure, but strictly on the condition that no trading partners, food and beverage suppliers, local businesses or employees are left with bad debts or unpaid accounts. The new operating structure has accepted this condition and has guaranteed it will be adhered to."

Speaking to Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Steven said that from the customers' point of view there would be no change at all. "Everything remains the same and in some sense it is purely an accounting exercise, which was always planned and destined to happen," he added.

Steven said the decision to put RTD1 into liquidation was a result of it no longer serving a purpose, having been used to set the restaurant business up. He said that its winding up would allow Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax relief funding to be released to continue the restaurant's expansion.

He added that the £400,000 that RTD1 owed to its creditors was guaranteed through debentures by the new company, The Dome (Plymouth).

A third company, Rhodes @ The Dome Trading, also remains active, but Steven said it would most likely also be wound up soon as it was not being used as 
a trading vehicle.

Although the business has had its "peaks and troughs" since opening, having suffered a kitchen fire, the theft of a safe, and most recently flooding due to the poor winter weather, Steven said recent trading had been positive.

"January and February have actually been very good, considering what has happened with the weather," he said. "That is because we employed a new manager and we have got a new structure to our menus and that has worked really well and seems very popular."

Major renovation

The plan for the business now is to open a new ground-floor venue with a 165-cover banquet room with its own dancefloors, bars and toilets, as well as a ceremony room that will allow Rhodes @ The Dome to host weddings and other events. The work, which 
will cost between £200,000 and £250,000, is expected to be completed within the next three months.

RTD1's liquidator Neville & Co declined to comment.

Rhodes @ The Dome is one of a number of restaurants and pubs that Steven is involved with. 
He also helps to run the Glassblowing House in Plymouth, Crab Quay House in Brixham, and the Pickwick Inn in Bigbury, all in Devon.

His father John Steven also has links to the hospitality industry, having owned and run pub firm Wykeham Inns, which ran six sites and also held a lease on the Dome, until the business entered administration during the recession in 2008. The company subsequently handed back the lease of the Dome to its owner.

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