The future of upmarket Birmingham bar and restaurant The Vaults is at the centre of new speculation following the collapse of operators DBT Bars.
DBT Bars, recent owners of the Jewellery Quarter venue, were placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation last month.
And a member of staff at The Vaults, who asked not to be named, said the bar was currently only open from Thursday to Saturday, and claimed the venue was under new ownership.
The latest twist to The Vaults saga comes less than three years after the venue fell into administration amid cash-flow difficulties.
The Vaults, which at the time of the October 2009 collapse was co-owned by digital entrepreneur Russell Townsend, had debts of £506,376. The venue, set in the cellars of a former workhouse, was opened in 2007 by Mr Townsend and fellow entrepreneur Julian Brown.
Unsecured creditors in 2009 included Birmingham City Council, HMRC, food and drink suppliers and dozens more.
A report at the time from administrators Poppleton and Appleby said a sale of the venue could not guarantee any payouts to the string of creditors. Now, less than three years on, the venue is linked to a second financial crisis.
The member of staff said: “We are not a restaurant at the moment. We are now under new ownership. I have not met the new owners – the previous owners were DBT Bars.
“Everything is up in the air at the moment.”
The member of staff said there had been no redundancies among the current workforce.
Tim Heaselgrave of Warwick-based insolvency specialists The Redfern Partnership, said: “The company went into voluntary liquidation on June 11, 2012.”
He declined to add any further details.
The Vaults’ website describes the venue as a ‘place to relax and unwind. Our chic eaterie and debonair lounge bar boasts private booths and metropolitan vibes infused with local contemporary art.”
Julian Brown, listed as a director of DBT Bars, could not be contacted for comment.
The Birmingham Post revealed last week that Nuvo, another leading Birmingham bar, had gone bust just three years after opening.
The Brindleyplace cocktail lounge and club, run by brothers Chris and Cos Papachristoforou, had been declared insolvent following intervention by HMRC, but is continuing to trade.
The recession has seen a string of city centre bars and restaurants face financial difficulties during the recession including the Living Room, Epernay, Utopia, Bar Room Bar and Bar 110, although some have since resurfaced under new ownership.