Todd English getting refinanced; will use part of fresh cash to pay taxman, landlord over failed Faneuil Hall restaurant

Todd English is refinancing his culinary empire, which now stretches from Charlestown to Las Vegas. Locally, the infusion of money means English will be able to pay the state of Massachusetts and the company that operates Faneuil Hall back payments for Kingfish Hall, which closed under a cloud of acrimony last year.

Ron Chorney, CFO of Todd English Enterprises, Inc., gave the financial update to the Boston Licensing Board this morning, at a hearing to request more time to sell the restaurant's main remaining asset - its liquor license.

Chorney told the board that after Kingfish Hall closed, the Department of Revenue demanded roughly $215,000 in back taxes. The company has since paid $24,000, he said, adding refinancing would free up enough cash to pay off the remainder. He added the new cash will also let the company settle claims from Quincy Market for back rent and repairs to the former restaurant space; he said the exact amount for that "is in negotiations right now."

English's attorney, Dennis Quilty, said another restaurant that had sought English's license backed out of the deal because of concerns the state or the landlord would seek control of the license to pay off their debts. Once the state and the landlord are paid, the license should be sold very quickly, Qulity said. Based on past sales, it could go for upwards of $300,000, in a city where licenses are in high demand, in part because of a state limit on the total number of liquor licenses.

The board votes Thursday on English's request.



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overlooking the whole scam that a set number of liquor licenses is...

Seems like English gets preferential treatment with the city, where as others would have had their liquor license yanked pretty quickly, no?

Now I get it.

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Since the Globe did its expose on the taxi/medallion system, the liquor license system makes a lot more sense to me. There are a lot of parallels, and both systems benefit only an 'elite' few.

These systems do nothing for the consumer, however.

I can only imagine how many restaurant ideas have been non-starters in Boston due to the harshly anti-entrepreneurial climate.

Actually, no

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The licensing board is generally very slow to yank somebody's license for non-use. English is not getting a unique favor here.

Townsends in Hyde Park may have been an exception, but then they never showed up at any of the board hearings on their license, and that really drives the board nuts.

Seems like I get to use that Bud quote... connection with Todd English every six months or so.

Interesting that locals seem to finally have caught on that doing business with The Todd might just leave you holding a giant bag of $#it.

Also, judging from the fact that there's a significant repair bill involved, that Globe story that English denied about him leaving Kingfish Hall in shambles appears to be true after all.

Where do people like English

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Where do people like English get financing for shit like this? Like the art and antiques world, the restaurant business has a distinctly unsavory smell to it.

Many restaurateurs are ethical businesspeople

They're not all shady operators who routinely screw over their landlords, purveyors, and employees. I just wonder if there's anyone left in Boston who would work with English on anything but a cash-and-carry basis. I would imagine he's running out of local people who aren't aware of his reputation.

Investing in a restaurant is risky business, even when the operators are scrupulous businesspeople. Boston is a tough place to set up shop, and 25% of new restaurants fail or change hands within a year, 60% within three years.