The owners of the Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub and Restaurant chain have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Declan Mannion and Conor Cummins, co-owners of the Molly Maguire’s chain with locations in Phoenixville, Lansdale and Downingtown, as well as Phoenixville’s Fenix Bar, have both filed cases in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to court documents obtained by 21st Century Media.
Cummins confirmed that he and Mannion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He said that the businesses are restructuring. He emphasized the restaurants will stay open and employees will be retained.
“We’re not going out of business. It’s business as usual. We’re going under different structures,” Cummins said. “The future of Molly Maguire’s is secure. One hundred percent secure. All the jobs are secured.”
Cummins said he and Mannion were advised by their lawyers to not disclose why they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mannion could not be immediately reached for comment.
In the court filings, Mannion is listed as a resident of Newtown Square and Cummins of Pottstown; both filed Chapter 11 voluntary petitions July 10 along with a request for the court to approve their representation by attorneys Thomas Bielli and David Klauder of Philadephia-based O’Kelly Ernst & Bielli LLC. Bielli and Klauder have not responded to requests for comment.
The bankruptcy petitions state that the two are individual debtors, the debts are primarily business debts, and the debtor estimates that funds will be available for distribution to unsecured creditors. No specific dollar figures are listed in the court filing as being owed by the two, but the estimated assets and estimated liabilities are both listed as being between $1 million and $10 million. A list of creditors included in the court documents includes Phoenixville-based Customers Bank and Doylestown-based MileStone Bank, along with Bank of America, Chase, Home Depot, Toyota and Best Buy, among others.
Credit counseling was also received by both as required by the bankruptcy filing, from an agency approved to provide such counseling within the court’s purview, and a debt repayment plan has not yet been prepared, according to the court documents. Their counseling certificates state that Cummins completed his counseling at 11:10 p.m. the night before the filing and Mannion completing his at 6:55 a.m. that day, both via internet and phone.
Phoenixville Borough Manager Jean Krack said the owners contacted him soon after the filing to let the borough know “before it came out.” He said he believes the filing will have little to no impact on the business or the boroughs in which it operates.
“It won’t affect what goes on there unless, of course, the bankruptcy court disagrees with your restructuring [plan],” he said. “But I don’t think that will happen. Usually, if it’s the first time you’re restructuring, the courts will try to work with you to help you come through it. Nobody wants to see businesses close. So if they come up with a viable restructuring plan that will work, the courts will work with them.”
Under Chapter 11 filing, a business may continue its operations while the owners develop and carry out a plan with the courts to reorganize the business. Krack said he thinks Mannion and Cummins have developed a strong plan to move forward.
“As a manager of a municipality, I think any manager doesn’t want to see businesses get hurt in any way. You want businesses to survive, you want people to be employed and you want a place for people to go to,” he said. “In this case, those things will still all be there. I think Molly’s has a strong reputation, has a plan for the court, and I think they’ll come out of this better.
“It’s clear that they’ve got a great running business. I think they just grew too fast too soon, and sometimes when you get too much debt, you can’t get out from under it,” he added. “But I think they have a great plan and will come through this and continue to grow with us as the borough continues its revitalization.”
The Phoenixville location opened Sept. 29, 2007 and was the first of the three Molly Maguire’s locations.
Mike Riccio, the former Lansdale borough councilman whose family sold their Lansdale office building to Molly Maguire’s in 2010, said Monday he had no knowledge of the bankruptcy and “haven’t talked to those guys” in months if not years.
This story has been updated to include comments from one of the owners.
Reporters Dan Sokil, Matthew D’Ippolito, Donna Rovins and Ginger Rae Dunbar contributed to this story.