Anthony’s Restaurant Ltd, the company run by popular Leeds-based chef Anthony Flinn, has entered administration - all four of the group's restaurants in the Yorkshire city were closed last week.
Anthony's, Piazza by Anthony and Rib Shakk - all located within the Leeds Corn Exchange - and Anthony's Patisserie in the city's Victorian Quarter did not open for business on Friday. BigHospitality understands that all the staff members were made redundant with immediate effect on Friday morning.
Licensed insolvency firm Lines Henry has been approached to act as administrators of the business. Michael Simister from Lines Henry revealed a local firm of chartered surveyors had already been appointed to dispose of all the assets held by the restaurants.
"It is sad when such a well-known business runs into difficulties," he said. "Unfortunately, the business has had to close, with the loss of 70 jobs, because there is not enough money available to continue trading."
Simister also revealed the closure of the four venues was being blamed on economic conditions and 'increased competition within Leeds city centre'.
Anthony's, Flinn's fine-dining venture, was moved from a 40-cover site in Boar Street to the Leeds Corn Exchange in April. The restaurant joined two of the chef's other ventures - a rib restaurant and a 118-cover brasserie.
News of the closure of the three Corn Exchange restaurants was broken by the Call Lane venue on Friday afternoon via its website and Twitter feed.
V sad @anthonysltd has closed. Do continue to support our indie traders who are all Original, Magnificent & Individual and trading as usual.— Leeds Corn Exchange (@leedscornex) June 21, 2013
Flinn, who trained at Huddersfield Technical College before working for two years with Ferran Adrià at El Bulli, former number one in the list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, founded his restaurant business in 2004 with his father - also Anthony.
When Flinn announced he was moving his flagship restaurant into the Corn Exchange he said the move was a chance to take the venue to the 'next level'.
"Throughout the last nine years we have grown and improved, just like the city, expanding and bringing our flair and creativity to other areas of dining," Flinn said in February.
"The expanded facilities that are made possible by the greater flexibility of space within the Piazza site will allow us to showcase dishes and techniques that were impossible in the small kitchen of the current Boar Lane site," he added at the time.
The move had seen the remodelling of the Corn Exchange kitchen and the creation of a new 13,500sq.ft dining room.
Restaurant critic Jay Rayner joined a number of Leeds foodies who bemoaned the loss of the four restaurants on Twitter. Rayner said it would 'seriously reduce' the number of eating options in the city.