Wallaby great’s restaurant collapse
The hospitality group established by former Wallaby great George Gregan and former wife Erica in the late 1990s has been placed in administration with more than $1 million in debt, however the aim is to find a way to trade through.
GG Leasing, which trades as GG Espresso, Eagle Lane Bistro, The George Bar and Bistro and Sydney Opera House Green Room, was this week placed in administration, with SV Partners appointed.
SV Partners director Ian Purchas said the company's sole director Erica Gregan, was looking to propose a deed of company arrangement (DOCA) which would allow the business to trade through and recover.
Since being appointed after-hours on Friday last week, Mr Purchas has closed two of the nine venues which were trading across Sydney and Brisbane.
About 10 of the 65 staff were laid off at that time.
The company's main creditors include landlords, the Australian Taxation Office, related parties and trade creditors, he said.
Gregan, who is Australia's most internationally-capped player and captained the Wallabies from 2001-2007, set up the business with Erica in 1998.
It expanded over the years to operate coffee shops and restaurants across Sydney and Brisbane.
"This was quite a large business. At one stage at its height it probably had in the vicinity of 30 bars, restaurants and cafes going at once,'' Mr Purchas said.
"Over recent years and I think during COVID it's worked its way down to the nine stores that were operating when I was appointed on Friday.
"Since Friday I have closed two stores. I'm trying to come to some accommodating arrangement with the landlords of four other stores, and one of the stores comes off lease at the end of this month so it's not being renewed.
"Out of the nine the company will definitely go forward with two of them and hopefully another four.''
Mr Purchas said the end of JobKeeper and leasing protections for the business, with both of these to hit at the end of this month, plus the overall impact of the pandemic, were the main reasons for the business running into trouble.
A breakdown of the amounts owed to each class of creditor is not yet available.
Erica Gregan is the sole director of the company, which is majority owned by GG Merchandise, which itself is half-owned by the Gregans.
The other shareholder in GG Leasing is Bryshaw Management, part-owned by former Mirvac managing director Nicholas Collishaw.
The Gregan Group website lists eight coffee shops across metropolitan Sydney and two in Brisbane. Other venues it has operated include The George Bar and Bistro, with venues in Fortitude Valley and Brisbane, the Lobby Bar on Castlereagh St, Sydney, and GG Catering.
A creditors' meeting is scheduled to be held on March 30, where creditors will consider whether to appoint a committee of inspection and whether to keep the current administrator.
Gregan was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2009. He represented Australia 139 times, participating in four World Cup campaigns, and captained the team on a record 59 occasions.
News Corp Australia has attempted to contact the Gregan Group.
BUSINESS NAMES USED BY GG LEASING
- Eagle Has Landed Espresso
- Eagle Has Landed Bistro
- Eagle Lane Espresso
- GG Espresso
- GG Lobby Bar
- GG Street Bar
- Sydney Opera House Green Room
- The George Bar and Bistro
- The George Bistro Sydney
- The George Gregan Bistro
Originally published as Wallaby great's restaurant collapse