Bankruptcy trustee seeks sale of Brennan’s name, assets _lowres

Photo by Ian McNulty -- The former Brennan's Restaurant building at 417 Royal St. is under extensive renovation.

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of Brennan’s Inc. has asked the bankruptcy judge overseeing the matter to approve the sale of the former restaurant’s trade name and other assets, including recipes, at auction, according to court filings.

Ronald J. Hof asked Judge Jerry A. Brown to set a minimum bid of about $3.1 million for the assets, about $100,000 more than the amount offered by 417 Royal Street LLC, the investment group that bought the Brennan’s building at a foreclosure auction last year. If no one else steps up to bid on the assets, they would be sold to 417 Royal Street, according to Hof’s request.

Brown will consider the request at a hearing June 12.

Late last year, a group of creditors forced Brennan’s Inc., the company that until last summer operated the Royal Street restaurant of the same name, into Chapter 7 bankruptcy to collect on claims of more than $60,000. Hof has been assigned to oversee liquidation of the firm’s assets.

The list of assets to be sold includes recipes, menus, a website, customer lists, employee lists, restaurant memorabilia and other property “at the heart of what makes the dining experience at Brennan’s Restaurant what it was,” according to Hof’s motion.

For many years the restaurant was a fixture of the New Orleans culinary scene. “Breakfast at Brennan’s,” a lavish morning meal often accompanied by wine and cocktails, helped propel its fame. The restaurant had 12 dining rooms and a large patio with a total capacity of 550 people.

Brennan’s restaurant was evicted from its longtime home in the familiar pink building at 417 Royal St. on June 27, about a month after the building was sold for $6.85 million in a foreclosure auction to Leggo/4, now known as 417 Royal Street.

That investment group, which includes businessman Terry White and Ralph Brennan, a restaurant owner who is related to the Brennan’s operators but previously had no role in the Royal Street restaurant, intends to open another restaurant at the site.

Specific plans for that new restaurant, including its name, are still under development, but renovations to the historic structure are underway.

The Royal St. building, which dates back to 1795 and opened as Brennan’s Restaurant in 1955, is not included in the list of properties the trustee is asking the judge to sell at auction.