Kowalchuk put Emma's into bankruptcy on Wednesday

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 13th, 2020



Sometime on Wednesday, today, Craig Kowalchuk went to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Hamilton and filed notice of bankruptcy.

During the day there was all kinds of speculation as to just why the restaurant closed. In his announcement on the Emma’s Facebook page Kowalchuk said: “Circumstances have prevailed and we cannot move forward.”

NoticeThe decision to declare bankruptcy was a decision Craig Kowalchuk felt he had to make.

This afternoon the Gazette had an agent look at the premises of the restaurant to see if there was a notice posted on the door.  No one really knew, or no one was saying, that it was a bankruptcy.

Cropped notice pictureOur agent took a couple of photographs. “ When I stepped onto the property” said our agent” a uniformed security guards stepped outside. I asked what was going on said out agent and I was told by the security guard that the building had been sold and that the new owner intended to re-open but under a different name and not until the COVID crisis was over.

The first meeting of creditors is on June 2nd – it will be done via a conference call.

Let’s look at what we know.

Kowalchuck files a declaration of bankruptcy.  That wasn’t a decision that was made in 15 minutes. Craig Kowalchuck doesn’t work that way.

When we visit the premises we are told by a uniformed security guard that the building was sold and that the new owner would open a new restaurant at the location once the COVID crisis was under control and people were allowed to go to restaurants.

That sale will have to have taken place sometime earlier in the month and the negotiations leading up to it would have taken some time which suggests that the sale has been in the works for some time.

We have not had an opportunity to look at the sale documents.  We do know that the building was sold in April of 1994 to 2084 Lakeshore Holdings Ltd.

There appears to be a new owner.

There also appear to be some unanswered questions.

Was the balance sheet so bad that he knew he could not wait out the COVID crisis and bankruptcy was the only option ?

Was there a new landlord who took over the lease and created a situation that led to a bankruptcy?

Or was bankruptcy and very good strategic tool?

Will we see Craig Kowalchuck standing behind the bar of a New Water Street Cooker?


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