A company that forms part of steak and lobster restaurant business Bourgee has entered administration, throwing the future of the firm into doubt.
Mark Upton and David Scrivener of Ensors Accountants were appointed as administrators of the Bourgee Restaurants Limited on 10 April, it has emerged.
There are three Bourgee restaurants in Essex, with two in Southend and one in Chelmsford.
There is a fourth in Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, and the group has previously detailed plans to open another two venues this year in Norwich and Colchester.
However, the business shuttered its original restaurant on Southend seafront suddenly last week, with a note on the door saying it would be closed until further notice.
An automatic reply to email enquiries suggested the restaurant would reopen under new leadership.
The email read: "Thank you for your email, Bourgee Southend is currently closed but will reopen shortly under new management. If you have an enquiry please contact email@example.com."
It is not known at this stage how the administration of Bourgee Restaurants Limited will affect the other restaurants in the group.
When contacted by The Caterer, director James Welling, who co-founded the business with chef Mark Baumann, said that a statement regarding the administration of Bourgee Restaurants Limited was being drafted and is currently with his lawyers.
The Caterer, which has also contacted Ensors Accountants, is awaiting a copy of that statement.
Bourgee launched in 2014 with the opening of its Southend venue, which aimed to offer "affordable luxury" to everyone.
The £1m venue was billed as a flagship site for a chain of restaurants, with UK lobster and beef from northern Spain cooked on a Josper grill.