Cheers theme bar forced to call in the receivers

Europe’s first themed bar and restaurant to be based on Cheers, the hit US comedy series, has gone into receivership just a year after opening in London’s Regent Street.

It is understood that the receivers were called in two weeks ago.

The establishment was established by the entrepreneur Alan Panlilio after he secured a lease for the Cheers franchise from Paramount Pictures.

Paramount already licenses a chain of Cheers-branded airport bars in the US.

When its launch was revealed in Marketing Week, Panlilio said: “It may not be the place where ‘everybody knows your name’, but we are hoping to establish it as a place where ‘they’re always glad you came'” (MW July 17 1997).

Panlilio could not be contacted at the time of going to press.

The general manager of the Cheers’ bar refused to give his name or answer questions on its financial situation. He says: “We are still trading at the moment. We are definitely not closing.”

Paramount vice-president of restaurants and brand concepts Dave McCoart would not confirm or deny the restaurant is in receivership. “We are still trading,” he says.

He remained confident that if the restaurant was in receivership, the Cheers brand would not be damaged. “The brand is one thing and receivership happens for other reasons,” he comments.

Mr Mc Court says plans to open other Cheers themed bars within the UK are still being considered. “We are certainly looking at other parts of the UK at this point,” he comments.

Pubs chain Pubmaster is thought to be considering floating on the Stockmarket after a bumper year in 1997 which saw profits leap 21 per cent to 18.4m. The company held a stakeholders meeting this week, attended by managers who own part of the company. However, a flotation could still be some years off.

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