Nuvo, one of Birmingham’s top bars, has gone bust just three years after opening.
The Brindleyplace cocktail lounge and club, run by brothers Chris and Cos Papachristoforou, went into liquidation following the intervention of HM Revenue and Customs.
The brothers also run Edmunds and Cielo restaurants at Brindleyplace.
The Brunswick Square bar is continuing to trade under the same name while talks with liquidators continue.
Chris Papachristoforou told the Birmingham Post that his other ventures were not affected by the financial difficulties that have hit Nuvo, which he blamed on the recession.
Mr Papachristoforou said: “We have gone into liquidation. We are in talks with the liquidator to see where we stand with them. We are nevertheless trading still as Nuvo.
“The people who work there and the people who go there, who are our patrons, this doesn’t affect them.
“We need to see what the outcome of the liquidators’ decisions will be in as far as the money that is owed to creditors.”
Mr Papachristoforou said he was “not exactly sure” how much cash was owed but it included unpaid VAT and PAYE. Debts to food and drinks suppliers were “not so much”.
Mr Papachristoforou said he hoped a compromise would be reached in the next few days.
He blamed the economic slump for the problems dogging the hospitality sector.
“I have noticed that things are not only very bad, but they are going to get worse,” said Mr Papachristoforou.
“We have not done anything wrong. If you are in a business that can break even you are doing very, very well.
“Everybody that I know, there is not one person who is doing well – unless they are people involved in gold or jewellery.
“Maybe we should not have opened when we did because competition is strong and the recession is tearing us to bits. There used to be 8,500 people working in Brindleyplace. Now there are about 5,000.”
Mr Papachristoforou said customers had less disposable income and that was bound to hit trade. He said Nuvo only took £165 all day on Tuesday.
“I cannot see much to smile about for the next five years,” he added.
Argent, which manages Brindleyplace, is supporting the on-going trading of Nuvo while details of the liquidation are finalised.
James Heather, senior project director at Argent, said: “We were very disappointed to learn of Nuvo’s current situation but, as with all our tenants, we will offer any support and practical assistance we can to help the company through these difficult times.’
The failure of Nuvo comes after the Papachristoforou brothers fell out spectacularly with Andy Waters, who was formerly head chef and business partner at Edmunds.
Waters left the restaurant in March to take over The Queens in Belbroughton, Worcestershire, and has been replaced by Frenchman Didier Philipot.