The owner of St. James’s restaurant Boulestin — which originally opened in Covent Garden in the 1920s by Xavier Marcel Boulestin, a star in his day — has confirmed to Eater that the business has gone into administration.
The story, revealed by City AM, paints a bleak picture of Boulestin’s finances, a restaurant which opened as a reimagined version of the iconic brand, in 2013 under the ownership of ex-Terrance Conran partner, Joel Kissin. Where the classic French restaurant had once been a favourite among London’s so-called Bloomsbury Set literati, the twenty first century Boulestin, between St. James’s and Green Park, had become a site frequented by hedge fund managers and financiers.
However, the restaurant was suffering from significant debts. In accounts filed for the year ending 2016, debts listed included Boulestin’s owing £188,164 to creditors — amounts which were due within one year.
In addition to the monies owed to undisclosed creditors, records also show that Kissin, Boulestin’s sole director, had personally lent the business £2.4 million in “an unsecured loan.” Kissin told Eater that the London restaurant business was “a very difficult market at the moment.”
Kevin Goldfarb, of Griffins Insolvency Practitioners, who are acting as administrators confirmed to Eater that the restaurant remained open for business and was hopeful of a swift purchase.
“Kevin Goldfarb and Stephen Hunt of Griffins Insolvency Practitioners were appointed as Administrators to Boulestin Ltd on 8 February 2018. The highly regarded restaurant has remained open with its full complement of staff and there has been considerable interest from potential purchasers which should lead to an early sale.”
Eater expects to receive further information soon.