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E-Brands Restaurants files for Ch. 11

Operator of high-end restaurants 'severely affected' by economy

E-Brands Restaurants LLC, the owner of a dozen high-end restaurants located around the country, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a result of economic pressures.

According to court filings, E-Brands said its restaurants “have been severely affected by the U.S. macro economy, which has resulted in a transient decline in earnings and cash flow.” The seven-year-old company said net sales fell from $56.7 million in 2008 to about $43.8 million in 2009, a 22.8-percent decline.

Orlando, Fla.-based E-Brands operates four Timpano Italian Chophouse & Martini Bar locations, three Samba Rooms, two Aquaknox Global Water Cuisine operations, one Canoñita Express, one Taqueria Canoñita and Timpano Tavern, formerly the David Burke Restaurant. Restaurants are located in Florida, Maryland, Colorado and Las Vegas.

E-Brands’ related companies — including Timpano of Maryland, LLC; Timpano Acquisition, LLC; Samba Room Acquisition, LLC; Aquaknox, LLC; Star Concepts Acquisition, LLC; and DBEB LLC — also filed for Chapter 11.

The companies reported assets of between $500,001 and $1 million and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million.

E-Brands said it is seeking to restructure some $14 million in debt owed to secured creditors General Electric Capital Corp., General Electric Capital Business Asset Funding Corp. of Connecticut and Bank of America.

Among unsecured creditors is T.G.I. Friday's parent company Carlson, which is owed about $2.4 million. E-Brands acquired 12 restaurants, including Samba Room, Taqueria Canoñita and Star Canyon, from Carlson in 2003 for an estimated $20 million to $30 million.

E-Brands has about 700 employees. The company did not responded to phone calls seeking comment.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].

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