Administration for Leeds deli bar company

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jobs saved: Friends of Ham, a continental-style bar with venues in Leeds and Ilkley, has been placed into administration
Jobs saved: Friends of Ham, a continental-style bar with venues in Leeds and Ilkley, has been placed into administration

Related tags: Leeds, Administration

Friends of Ham, a continental-style bar with venues in Leeds and Ilkley, has been placed into administration.

Jobs have been saved at the two venues, which specialised in selling beers, wine, sherry, cheeses and charcuterie.

Charles Michael Brook and Michelle Louise Chatterton both of Poppleton & Appleby, Huddersfield, were appointed as joint administrators for the company.

The branch opened its doors at its first site opposite Leeds rail station in July 2012, before expanding out of a ground-floor bar and basement into a neighbouring unit a couple of years later.

A sister site opened in Ilkley in August 2015.

Administrators said the Leeds venue, which is currently recruiting kitchen and bar staff, had been thriving with a loyal clientele yet the Ilkley site had struggled to establish itself.

Jobs saved

Directors decided to sell the businesses to save the 34 jobs at risk and improve the outcome for creditors.

Immediately after the company entered administration on 7 August, it was sold to a local independent buyer Glentrool.

An offshoot of the Leeds​ branch, Ham & Friends, on Merrion Street, closed its doors in March.

The Scandinavian-style deli, situated a few streets away from the Friends of Ham site, closed a couple of days after it received a Yorkshire Evening Post​ Oliver award for best city centre restaurant.

The site, which was operated through a different company, was latterly relaunched as a bar trading as Lucky Number 7.

Financial strain

Poppleton & Appleby partner Charles Brook said: “In a highly competitive market​, the cost of managing the development of the Ilkley and Merrion Street businesses placed significant strain on the combined financial resources of the two companies.  

“Although the original business was resilient, cash flow suffered and the companies came under increasing pressure to maintain payments to their creditors.

He added: “The directors took advice and it was initially hoped that a CVA might be proposed to and agreed by creditors.

"However, even as those proposals were distributed, it became apparent that the protracted UK heatwave had caused a significant short-term reduction in footfall within the Leeds city centre and especially at the flagship premises, which didn’t have the benefit of an outdoor area for its clients.”

Vibrant business 

Katie Pannu of purchasers Glentrool said: “We are delighted to be investing in such a unique and vibrant business and want to confirm that all of the remaining employees from each of the locations have been retained."

The bar posted a message​ on its Twitter page that they were “open for business and intend to be for many years to come”.

The full message read: "Thanks to everyone for the kind words today. Just to be clear following a bit of misreporting and assumptions in today’s press – we are still trading and open for business and intend to be for many years to come."

Related topics: Other operators

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