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Williamsburg Hit Maison Premiere, Millions in Debt, Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Owners have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for Maison Premiere and Sauvage

A bartender behind the bar at Maison Premiere Daniel Krieger/Eater

Williamsburg oyster bar Maison Premiere and Greenpoint French restaurant Sauvage — which both share the same owners — have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, though both are still open.

Maison Premiere, a James Beard Award-winning bar, and Sauvage have collectively racked up $3.2 million in outstanding debt to banks and other entities, according to court documents. A spokesperson says that the restaurants filed for bankruptcy to settle a legal matter, though she declined to discuss what that was.

Based on the court filings, the largest creditor between the two restaurants is New Jersey’s Provident Bank — with nearly $2 million owed by Maison Premiere alone, according to court documents. Attorney Doug Pick says that the $2 million debt is guaranteed by Sauvage. Out of the remaining debt from the two entities, $587,000 represents the salaries and loans owed to the owners themselves, and another $200,00 belongs to loans made back and forth between the two restaurants, he tells Eater.

Yet a number of food and alcohol suppliers are also owed thousands of dollars, according to the bankruptcy filing, including Bronx-based Baldor Specialty Foods, San Francisco-based Steve & Mike Shellfish Co., and Canada’s Five Star Shellfish Inc. Wine suppliers such as NYC-based David Bowler Wine and Winebow of Virigina are named as well. Sauvage similarly owes money to a handful of suppliers, such as Baldor and local bakery Bien Cuit.

In a statement sent to Eater, owners Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka say they are still receiving product from vendors and continue to “pay them in full, as has always been the case in our many years in business.”

The businesses are possibly using the Chapter 11 protection — a legal tool commonly used by struggling restaurants — to reorganize and restructure debt.

Boissy and Zizka opened Maison Premiere 298 Bedford Ave. in 2011 and to much acclaim. In 2016, it won a James Beard for Outstanding Bar Program. To this day, the New Orleans-style bar and restaurant is recognized as one of the best raw bars in the city. The owners followed up with French restaurant Sauvage in 2016, which reeled in three stars from Eater critic Robert Sietsema under its opening chef.

Last year, the team opened a seasonal restaurant and bar called the Golden Hour at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea.

Both are operating business as usual, the owners say.

Correction, June 12, 2019, 3:50 p.m.: This article was updated to show that the total debt is $3.2 million, to clarify the breakdown of some of the debt, and to include comments from the restaurant group’s lawyer.

Maison Premiere

298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (347) 889-5710 Visit Website

Sauvage

905 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (718) 486-6816 Visit Website