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Ex-bar bosses pay up pounds 30,000.


FORMER bosses of a popular Tyneside bar and hotel strip have agreed to pay more than pounds 30,000 to suppliers they owed cash to.

The New Northumbria Hotel, including the Scalinis and Louis restaurants and Osbornes pub, changed hands after being bought from administration by the Malhotra family of property developers.

After acquiring the building, on Jesmond's Osborne Road, they immediately launched legal action against the company with the lease to run the businesses on a day-today basis.

The Malhotras said the Northumbria Hotel Ltd owed them more than pounds 1m in rent that had not been paid to previous owners WG Mitchell, which crashed in 2007.

They then issued a winding-up petition against the company's trading arm, the New Northumbria Hotel Ltd, in a bid to claw back other debts.

A host of other firms joined the petition and a hearing was held at Newcastle County Court to consider their claims.

And seven of them have secured payments from New Northumbria, which total more than pounds 30,000.

But a fresh court date has been set to rule on monies owed to the Malhotras' firm, Maymask, and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The petitioning creditors who will get their cash in the short-term include Mercari Foods, of North Shields, which will get pounds 255.20, Wall to Wall, of Sandyford, Jesmond, which will get pounds 58.75, and Warren Butterworth Butchers, of the Westway Industrial Estate, Westerhope, Newcastle, due pounds 7,548.38.

Other creditors include Brakes Brothers Ltd, of Ashford, Kent, which was owed pounds 5,173.16, while London-based Berkman Wine Cellars is due pounds 7,548.38 and Late Rooms is owed pounds 1,098.06.

The winding-up proceedings are the latest twist in the saga surrounding the New Northumbria.

We told how, after buying the premises, the Malhotras took control of it in the middle of the night by walking in and presenting legal papers, signed by a judge, that ruled they were able to seize possession of it. The family's legal claim over rent also dragged controversial bar mogul Joe Robertson into the frame.

Mr Robertson, credited with kicking off Newcastle's night life scene in the 1980s, now lives in Monaco but it was alleged he was conducting negotiations of behalf of the New Northumbria.

After the Malhotras took control, the New Northumbria itself launched legal action, claiming they were the rightful owners of goods including table cloths and drink straws.

A trial date for that case is yet to be set.

Commenting on the winding-up proceedings, Maymask boss Bunty Malhotra said: "I am glad these small creditors have been able to receive payment as the money is rightfully theirs.

"We will continue to pursue our own case."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2010
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