The parent company of one of Boston’s best-known tap rooms has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Sunset Partners Inc. — the parent company of Allston’s popular Sunset Grill & Tap — has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. The decision was prompted by concerns that the Department of Revenue would take action because of uncollected back taxes totaling approximately $500,000, according to David Madoff, attorney for Sunset Partners.
Patrons needn’t worry too much, however, as the filing won’t affect service in the near future. The bar’s extensive craft-beer menu — more than 100 on tap, another 150 in bottles — will still be available and there are no current plans for downsizing.
“The business still operates well day-to-day and sales are good,” said Madoff. “We just have to deal with some of this debt.”
Sunset Grill & Tap and its sister establishment Sunset Cantina were purchased from founder Marc Kadish in 2014 by Ara Balikian and longtime Boston restaurateur Marc Berkowitz, the brother of Legal Sea Foods president and CEO Roger Berkowitz.
Much of the debt listed in the bankruptcy filing can be traced to that transition, said Madoff.
“A lot of the debt relates back to the purchase from the prior owner, and early attempts to clean up past problems,” he said.
In addition to the debt owed to the DOR, $4.2 million is owed to Hamilton Realty, the primary lender to Sunset Partners.
There are no specifics yet in terms of what reorganization will look like, but Sunset Partners and their legal team are working quickly to put a plan in place, Madoff said.
Bankruptcy code allows for a 120-day “exclusivity period,” and Madoff says he expects a plan for paying back the debts to be put together during that time.
Alex Frandsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.