Late last week, Crain’s reported that master chef François Payard has officially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on his New York restaurant property. As we noted back in June, Payard recently closed Payard Patisserie & Bistro, his flagship spot on the Upper East Side of the city. According to the article in Crain’s, the bankruptcy filings list ‘less than 50 creditors, assets as between $50,000 to $100,000 and debts as much as $1 million.’
Among the top creditors listed in the filing is his landlord, Stephen Kirschenbaum. Mr. Payard owes six months in back rent.
“I couldn’t come to terms with him,” Mr. Payard said. “I felt my freedom from this case was more important to me.”
The chef will continue to operate his Payard Patisserie & Bistro Las Vegas location, located in Caesar’s Palace.
Unfortunately, Payard is only one of many restaurateurs and owners – both famous and not so famous – currently in the news due to financial difficulties. Chef Gordon Ramsay is busy restructuring his restaurant empire. The LeRoy family, operators of the renowned Tavern on the Green, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. And many restaurant workers were stunned last week when seventy Jack In The Box locations in Northern California were closed without warning, due to a francisee’s struggles with money as well.