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Former jewel in the Portsmouth food scene goes into liquidation


The Portsmouth office of business rescue, recovery and restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor has been appointed liquidator of the city’s long-established Lemon Sole restaurant.


The owner company, Fountain Coffee Shop, was forced into liquidation following a difficult period for the restaurant which has seen a steady decline in custom over the last four years.

Once at the heart of the Portsmouth community, the specialist seafood restaurant on the High Street has now ceased trading and all staff have been laid off.

Senior Manager at Begbies Traynor Portsmouth Andrew Watling says: "Lemon Sole was facing problems on a number of fronts, affecting both its corporate and consumer markets and compounded by the onset of the downturn in 2008. The restaurant has been left with no alternative other than to cease trading.

“The shift in Portsmouth's corporate community away from the city centre has played a significant role in the restaurant’s collapse. In its heyday Lemon Sole had a huge corporate market right on its doorstep, but with big firms moving to out-of-city business parks, the restaurant has been unable to sustain the heavy impact on both its lunchtime and evening business.

“There has also been a significant decline in private diners, mainly due to its longstanding reputation as a boutique restaurant becoming tarnished of late as attempts to broaden its market with discount offers and broad-brush advertising have failed to attract a new audience and damaged its existing customer base.

"We are now looking to dispose of assets of the business including the company name, and have a number of parties already expressing interest.”

For more information about the sale of Lemon Sole’s assets please contact Andrew Watling on 023 9270 4310.


About the author

Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner

Meet our Team of Experts

Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.

Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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