Maxwell's Restaurants, operator of London venues including Old Compton Brasserie, Maxwell's Bar & Grill, Palm Court Brasserie, Café de Paris and Tropicana Beach Club, has become the latest victim of Covid-19 restrictions and has appointed liquidators.
The business was established in 1972 by restaurateur and businessman Brian Stein when he opened the first restaurant, known as Maxwell's Bar & Grill, in Hampstead, which subsequently moved to its current location in Covent Garden.
By 2010 the Maxwell's Group employed 400 staff and venues included Maxwell's Bar & Grill; Maxwell's Oxford; PJ's Bar & Grill on Fulham Road; Roadhouse in Covent Garden; Sticky Fingers in Kensington; the Palm Court Brasserie in Covent Garden; and Café de Paris in the West End.
Despite combined turnover approaching £30m, the impact of coronavirus closures and restrictions has hit the business with only three of its venues – Old Compton Brasserie, Maxwell's Bar & Grill and Palm Court Brasserie – considered viable to reopen in July. Café de Paris and Tropicana Beach Club, essentially operating as late-night venues/clubs, could not open under restrictions.
Tier 2 restrictions on London left trading at around 20% of the seasonal norm and low customer numbers, uncertainty surrounding future trading and mounting creditors and rent arrears left the company with no alternative but to cease trading and seek financial advice.
Martin Halligan of Live Recoveries was appointed liquidator of the company on 18 December. Negotiations are ongoing in respect of the reopening of certain restaurants.