(FranchisePick.Com) Related stories: Cork & Olive Wine Franchisor Folds; Franchisees Scramble to Survive, Cork & Olive Franchise Corp. Collapse: What’s the REAL Story?, What REALLY Uncorked Cork & Olive Franchise Corp? (Unhappy Franchisee), Cork & Olive Wine Shop Franchise Owners Left High & Dry (Unhappy Franchisee)
Cork & Olive, the Tampa-based wine bar franchisor that shuttered its headquarters and eight company-owned stores last week, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Hillsborough court yesterday.
The filing follows last week’s lay-off off 40 Cork & Olive workers. The closing left the owners of nine franchised locations, and the owners of other franchises due to open, scrambling for survival. The Orlanda franchise location had been open just a week.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that Cork & Olive company president Michael Probst said “he had been working on the assumption a New York hedge fund was going to invest about $3-million in the company. But when the fund insisted on taking a controlling interest, Probst opted to shut down instead.”
However, angry franchise owners and others on the Unhappy Franchisee website posted that Probst, Cork & Olive Franchise Corp., and affiliate Estate Wine Group were the target of several lawsuits and already owed on judgements in excess of $1 Million.
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