Restaurateur Brad Friedlander, owner of Moxie, the Restaurant, and Red, the Steakhouse, both in Beachwood, confirmed Oct. 1 that his company, BJRP, filed for Chapter 11 restructuring Sept. 28 under federal bankruptcy protection.
Friedlander is also developing a Red, the Steakhouse at Pinecrest in Orange. The 7,200-square-foot restaurant is scheduled to open in early 2019 and possibly under a different company name. The restaurant will have 170 seats.
In 2017, Friedlander opened Red, the Steakhouse in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh locations. Three weeks ago he closed the Pittsburgh restaurant. Both of those operations took a toll on the finances of BJRP, he said.
“We were taking funds from Beachwood and funding the other organizations,” Friedlander said. “We filed Chapter 11 so we could reorganize.
“We grew too fast and we were under-capitalized. Opening there kind of drained our company. We were behind schedule, over budget, underfunded, all the recipes for a great failure.”
Friedlander opened Red, the Steakhouse in 2004 in what was a 2,000-square-foot storeroom at Moxie on Richmond Road. Moxie celebrated its 20th anniversary in late 2017. The steakhouse space will become a new-concept restaurant when the Pinecrest location opens, Friedlander said. The two restaurants share a kitchen, but operate separately in the front of the house. Moxie is 9,000 to 10,000 square feet. Moxie seats 180 and Red seats 96. Together, the two restaurants have a staff of 110.
Friedlander said he doesn’t expect to lay off “regular employees” at either Beachwood restaurant as a result of the restructuring and that the restructuring could take as little as 90 days.
“All this is a restructuring of debt,” he said.
In the meantime, Friedlander said Moxie is undergoing a renovation costing about $500,000, including redecorating and painting. Exterior painting has already begun.
While BJRP also owns a Red, the Steakhouse in Miami in addition to the one in Indianapolis, Friedlander said he wanted to return the focus to the Cleveland-area locations.
“We’re going to concentrate locally, put my energies in the city I love,” said Friedlander, who grew up in Shaker Heights and lives in Pepper Pike.
Red, the Steakhouse in downtown Cleveland was purchased in February by YLT Red, LLC and has no economic or monetary ties to Red, the Steakhouse in Beachwood. “Red, the Steakhouse remains open, thriving, well-financed,” said Gregg S. Levy, managing partner of YLT Red.