Vegan burger slinger By Chloe has declared bankruptcy in the U.S., putting the future of its four U.K. restaurants in jeopardy. It blames the bankruptcy on both the coronavirus pandemic and a longstanding lawsuit from co-founder and namesake Chloe Coscarelli, according to Restaurant Business.
It credits COVID-19 with cutting its revenue across its fourteen-strong international portfolio by 67 percent, with a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of $2.67 million not enough to see it through the last nine months.
Its first London restaurant opened in Covent Garden in 2018, nodding to its crossing the Atlantic with “fish and chips” made with crispy tofu, and “shepherds pie” made with ground seitan. That was quickly followed by a restaurant in Tower Bridge, another in Oxford Circus, and a concession at the 02 Arena, which has been closed for the duration of the pandemic.
The brand, know for its cheerful, cartoonish illustrations and upbeat menu design, hides a deeply tumultuous history. Co-founder Coscarelli was accused of, and found to have carried out, “gross negligence” in 2017, but won an award of over $2 million dollars in arbitration this September, which is yet to be paid out. While its restaurants are expected to remain open through the proceedings, any sale — expected by February / March 2021 — could see its London restaurants stay open, change, or close.