The annus horribilis for famed French chef Michel Richard has just been extended. Creditors need to form a line to the right as the 24-hour Caesars Palace restaurant Central Michel Richard filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 17. Bistro Central LV LLC, dba Central Michel Richard, took the dramatic action to hold off creditors while the company tries to get its affairs in order and works on its future.
Bistro Central LV LLC's officers are still listed as Carl Halvorson, former Managing Director of Michel Richard Restaurants and Woong R. Kang. The 10,000-square-foot space debuted in late 2011 with an outdoor patio and a bar facing the Caesars Palace check-in desk. In an interview before opening, Halvorson explained Central leased the space from Caesars and found financing backing for the "$4.5 million necessary to build-out the restaurant." As part of the deal with the resort, Chef Richard was contracted to "appear at least eight times at the restaurant during the first year, then six times at a minimum each year thereafter."
An online breakdown of the Chapter 11 filings estimates the number of creditors as between "50-99" and the liabilities reaching more than $1 million, but the company assets are only estimated to be valued between "$500,001 to $1 million." It should be noted, temporary shuttering or the full closing of the restaurant is not inevitable or immediately suggested by the filing.
In May 2013 the D.C.-based chef's Atlantic City outpost of Central Michel Richard shuttered at Revel, the newly built resort and casino, after barely a year in business. Revel has also since filed for bankruptcy. Last October, the 65-year old chef's ultra-expensive Villard Michel Richard debuted inside the New York Palace Hotel to a Pete Wells "Zero Star" review in the New York Times, who trashed the restaurant as "awful.'" Chef Richard's team is now said to be working to "re-envision the restaurant's concept and next steps."
Back in Las Vegas, in December Central's executive chef Todd Harrington left to become the assistant executive chef of the Downtown Grand.
For the dozens of locals waiting on payment for services, a meeting of creditors will held on Aug. 21 at 3 p.m. inside downtown's Foley Federal Building, Room 1500. The filing number is 14-14931. As the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Nevada helpfully explains, "consult a lawyer to determine your rights in this case."
· All Coverage of Central Michel Richard [~ELV~]