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REVEALED: Shocking $1.8m collapse behind Coast restaurant's closure

CLOSED: A shocking debt trail has been uncovered following a Coast restaurant's closure.
CLOSED: A shocking debt trail has been uncovered following a Coast restaurant's closure. Contributed

A TRAIL of debt has emerged from the rubble of the collapse of a prominent, Americana-themed Sunshine Coast restaurant.

The Daily reported New Orleans Diner, at the Oceans building on Mooloolaba Esplanade, had closed down after opening in December last year.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents reveal New Orleans Diner was a business name held by Terri Howie.

Terri Howie is listed as the secretary of Master of Ceremony Events Pty Ltd, a company which had operated Fastplay Games Centre and Sweet Lips Creamery at the site before it was transformed into the rock 'n' roll themed New Orleans Diner.

Devon Howie, manager of New Orleans Diner, is also listed as director of Master of Ceremony Events and the pair are the sole shareholders of the company which has racked up almost $1.82 million in debts.

 

CLOSED: New Orleans Diner at Mooloolaba has closed.
CLOSED: New Orleans Diner at Mooloolaba has closed. Scott Sawyer

SM Solvency Accountants were appointed as liquidators for Master of Ceremony Events on July 27 and a report to creditors dated August 3 obtained by the Daily revealed significant debts racked up around the country.

Liquidators Brendan Dixon and Leon Lee's report revealed debts totalling more than $1.815 million, including $1.2 million owed to landlord Juniper Holdings.

Graeme Juniper said he could not comment on the issue as it involved a former tenant.

The report revealed further significant debts, including more than $57,000 owed to ANZ Bank, more than $104,000 owed to the Australian Taxation Office and more.

 

Jenny Princis, Nicki Burbacher and Terri and Devon Howie at the New Orleans Diner in Mooloolaba in February.
Jenny Princis, Nicki Burbacher and Terri and Devon Howie at the New Orleans Diner in Mooloolaba in February. John McCutcheon

New South Wales-based Technology Leasing Pty Ltd is owed $59,000 while Probe Group ($69,900), Pioneer Credit ($69,700), Peter Macaulay ($111,300), Credit Corp ($12,900), Nathan Kernshaw ($40,000) and NewBook ($20,000) round out other significant debtors.

Commonwealth Bank is out of pocket $18,700 while Schweppes is owed $10,000.

Locally, Win Television/Channel 9 is owed $7,000 while Tacoma Plumbing and Drainage Pty Ltd ($13,000), Brodie Electrical ($3800), Cabinet House ($2500) and Fox Finance ($3700) are all among the creditors listed.

Liquidators' investigations had, as of August 3, not found any real estate or cash at bank, following the company's wind up.

 

World record parfait under construction at Sweet Lips Creamery, Mooloolaba in 2016.
World record parfait under construction at Sweet Lips Creamery, Mooloolaba in 2016. Warren Lynam

"We are aware of financed equipment the company used in its businesses and we are ascertaining whether there is any equity in the equipment," the report said.

"The company ceased trading prior to our appointment. The director has cited unmanageable lease and taxation debts as the reason for winding up the company as well as the failure of a related entity's retail business."

The Daily has attempted to contact Mrs Howie for comment.

Topics:  business closing down closure community dining easy eating eating out property restaurant sunshine coast


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