The all-pink ‘Instagrammable’ restaurant chain Boujee has reportedly sold off its Chester restaurant in a ‘pre-pack deal’, just two weeks after the closure of its Manchester site was revealed.
The news follows months of difficulties for the business, which opened three sites in quick succession during the Covid-19 pandemic – starting with a Liverpool site in December 2020, followed by its Manchester and Chester sites in 2021.
A note reading ‘closed, so sorry’ was taped to the front of the all-pink restaurant at the start of October and has remained there since, following the announcement that the group would be closing its Liverpool site in August.
Now, according to reports in UK trade publication Big Hospitality, the final restaurant in the trio has also gone.
The publication writes that Boujee’s Chester restaurant has been sold in a ‘pre-pack’ deal, “saving the jobs of all 32 staff.”
The news of the sale, which sees the Chester restaurant sold to one of the original founders, follows the appointment of joint administrators Lisa Moxon and Ben Barrett of Dow Schofield earlier this year.
Sadly, the deal comes too late to protect the jobs of staff at sites in Manchester and Liverpool.
Earlier this summer, staff walked out of the Liverpool site complaining of unpaid wages and tips. At the time, workers said that they had received just 40% of their expected wages on recent paydays and claimed that management had withheld their table service charges for months.
A company message was shared with Boujee’s staff at the end of June in an attempt to explain to workers why they had not received their full pay.
It said: “It is with huge regret and disappointment that we are not able to pay the wages in their entirety today. We have exhausted every avenue and it is at the point where we require the revenue from this weekend and next in order to catch up and make the payments in full.
“Today we will be making a payment to all employees of 40 per cent of their total wage. On Monday we will make a second payment and this will be 30 per cent of their total wage plus 50 per cent of the service charge for the month.
“The following Monday we will pay the remaining 30 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent of the service charge.
“We are extremely sorry that it has come to this and I assure you we are doing all we can to get back on track and our team are vital in this path to recovery. We fully appreciate this is not acceptable and we thank you for your hard work, support and loyalty through what has been a very challenging time.”
Boujee by name, boujee by nature, the group had become known for its Barbie and Ken box insta traps and Champagne rooms dedicated to Laurent Perrier’s pink fizz.
Here, a bottle of champagne costs £90 for a Laurent Brut and up to £750 for Laurent Perrier Rose Jeroboam, whilst cocktails will set you back a minimum of £9 a glass.
The group also counted Real Housewives of Cheshire star Lystra Adams as a director, although it is understood she has recently stepped away from the business amidst its troubles.
In a statement on the sale of the Chester restaurant, administrator Lisa Moxon said: “The hospitality sector has faced tough times during and since the pandemic which have taken their toll on the Boujee business.
“The company’s initial trade-in was positive despite the Covid restriction at the time, although during the lockdowns it made a loss and as a new business was unable to access the majority of Covid support packages.
“In late 2021, the Liverpool venue was failing to achieve its expected turnover which resulted in significant cash flow difficulties. These were compounded by increases in food and drink costs which could not be passed on to customers.
“Despite the closure of the Liverpool restaurant and efforts of the directors, the company’s financial position has continued to deteriorate with turnover continuing to fall.
“Having explored all the options, we believe the pre-pack sale is the best available outcome for creditors and employees. It will enable Boujee to continue to trade and build its profile in Chester whilst saving the jobs of the 32 staff. We wish them all the best for the future.”
Feature image – Boujee
A new little IKEA has just opened inside a Greater Manchester shopping centre
A brand new little IKEA has just opened its doors inside a popular Greater Manchester shopping centre this week.
Of course, the Swedish furniture giant has a home in our region already, with a popular site in Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, as well as another in neighbouring Warrington just over the border into Cheshire – but this new Greater Manchester hub is on a much smaller scale than the IKEA superstores we’re used to.
This is what the retailer is calling a ‘Plan & Order Point’.
Having opened doors in the Merseyway Shopping Centre in Stockport, the new IKEA Plan & Order Point is a smaller store dedicated to kitchen and bedroom planning, where customers can pop in for home furnishing advice and expertise to help design their ideal space at an affordable price.
IKEA says the new Stockport hub is all part of its “ongoing transformation to become more accessible and sustainable” for shoppers in the North West.
Inside the 71 sqm / 764 sqft store, you’ll find a selection of different kitchens to browse, from a complete room with a combination of different units and appliances, including oven and hob, all for under £1,200, to a kitchen with fronts featuring a foil made of recycled bottles.
On top of this, all kitchen fronts, worktops, and a variety of appliances from the wider range will also be showcased inside the store.
When it comes to bedroom planning and design, there’s also a space dedicated to the PAX wardrobe system inside the store – with doors, interior organisers, and knobs and handles to help customers build their dream storage solution.
You can book an appointment, free of charge, inside the new Stockport store to start your design journey with one of IKEA’s planning specialists, or use the in-store self-service tools to design your own solution.
Staff will also be on hand to help customers order products from the full IKEA range – which can be delivered direct to your door, or to the nearest collection point.
“Our investment in the North West is part of our long-term plan to transform our retail business, continuing to make it easier for people to enjoy what IKEA offers using a variety of convenient ways,” explained Michael Parker, Area Manager at IKEA UK.
“The North West is a key region for us, being home to over seven million people, and also being the place that IKEA first opened a UK store, 35 years ago in Warrington.
“This new Plan and Order Point will allow customers to get inspiration and expert advice in convenient locations closer to where they live.
“Together with our existing stores in Ashton-under-Lyne and Warrington, remote planning and different delivery and collection services, we’re enabling an IKEA that’s there for our customers, however they want to meet us.”
King Charles III acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, and on the day of his Coronation, will be 74 years old – making him the oldest person to be crowned monarch in British history.
The King will be coronated alongside his wife and the Queen Consort, Camilla, in a religious ceremony held at Westminster Abbey in London – which is the same place his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II‘s Coronation was held in 1953, as was her State Funeral in September of last year.
The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and is expected to be a more “simmered down” event in comparison to that of the late Queen’s Coronation.
Buckingham Palace said the Coronation will “reflect the monarch’s role today” and will “look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry” – with more details about the ceremony and celebrations on a national scale expected to be announced “in due course”.
But, on a more personal scale locally, Manchester City Council has just announced that residents in the borough can apply to close their road off so they can throw a street party.
The Council says it want residents from all over the city to “dust off the bunting and join their neighbours to celebrate the historic weekend” by hosting a traditional street party, and for those wishing to do so, if you make sure to submit an application by a certain deadline, then the road closure fee will be waived.
On top of this, Oldham Council has also announced that it applications are open for residents to apply for £100 grants to be put towards community street parties.
100 grants are available being awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Other Greater Manchester boroughs are also expected to announce celebration plans in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.