HTC’s Retail & Leisure team advised a private family trust on premises in Clifton Village, Bristol which was let to Tasty Plc trading as Wildwood Restaurant on the residue of a 25 year lease from August 2014.
Wildwood were disposing of a number of restaurants and were reporting a slump in profits due to challenging trading conditions with administration a distinct possibility. We were already supporting the client with advice on a couple of unsuitable assignees on grounds of use and weak covenant which after legal challenge did not proceed. Following this the client sought our advice on what to do versus waiting for further unacceptable suggestions from the tenant.
We undertook a detailed market review covering potential replacement occupiers including assessment of current rental and lease term expectations. We were aware that the tenant’s advisors were offering the opportunity, however, in our opinion had not fully covered the active local restaurant scene. We advised the client should engage to agree a speculative surrender to regain control and in turn secure a replacement.
We were able to negotiate a substantial reverse premium on a fully inclusive basis but retaining the tenant’s fixtures and fittings and M&E. Whilst the surrender was being concluded by solicitors we approached potential restaurant operators and successfully identified Bar 44 / Tapas Y Copas, a small privately owned award winning restaurateur with four locations in Cardiff and South Wales. Terms were promptly agreed on a basis comparable to the outgoing tenant. The restaurant is open and receiving praising reviews from the critics, whilst also appealing to the demands of the local demographic.
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Hartnell Taylor Cook
5th November 2020