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Taverna Opa restaurant files for bankruptcy

A restaurant in Dolphin Mall filed for bankruptcy, although the restaurant continues to operate. Taverna Opa sought the debt relief protections of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy option. The restaurant is owned by Opa Restaurant Group, which has several restaurants throughout Florida.

According to court documents, the company has $500,000 in debts and only $50,000 in available assets. The documents also state that Dolphin Mall Associates has a $110,000 claim against Taverna Opa. The restaurant disputes that claim. Amounts owed to other creditors were not disclosed.

Taverna Opa restaurants are franchised, which means that they have different operators. The bankruptcy of one restaurant in a franchise would not affect the operation of other restaurants in the chain.

When a business owner is struggling to meet operating expenses with available income, an attorney may be able to help. In some cases, it may be possible to settle debts or negotiate lower monthly payments. In other situations, bankruptcy may be the best way to help a struggling business. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows some unsecured debts to be discharged, which may be what a company needs in order to continue to operate. Chapter 7 may be filed by individuals or companies. Alternatively, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy may allow the company to reorganize debts in a way that allows payments while continuing to operate. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to review a business' entire financial picture to determine which type of bankruptcy is best to meet the company's needs. An attorney may be able to help determine a plan for bankruptcy and file paperwork in an effort to help business owners get back on their feet.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Taverna Opa in Dolphin Mall files for Chapter 11", Paul Brinkmann, June 07, 2013

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