Rock & Brews restaurant in El Segundo has filed for bankruptcy, but the company’s remaining 20 locations are preparing to be up and running soon with safeguards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In a May 12 Chapter 7 filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Rock and Brews LLC, which owns the El Segundo restaurant at 143 Main St., listed estimated assets of $50,000 or less with liabilities of $100,000 to $500,000. The corporation said it will have no funds available for creditors once its administrative expenses are paid.

Parent company Rock & Brews Holdings Inc. operates 20 locations, including corporate stores, franchise stores and licensed stores. The El Segundo restaurant, which employs roughly 50 workers, was the company’s first and has been heavily impacted by financial fallout from COVID-19.

There are about 450 employees companywide.

Rock & Brews CEO Adam Goldberg said the remaining locations are gearing up to reopen soon.

“We’ll be following the CDC and state and county mandates in regard to requirements for reduced occupancy,” he said. “But we’ll take it a level further with a temperature-taking station when you walk in.”

Employees also will take their temperatures using a fever-recognition system on an iPad station. The restaurants also would have 14 hand sanitizing stations throughout the eateries and electronic menus.

Rock & Brews restaurants are scattered throughout California, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Mexico and Texas.

The 10 California locations (including El Segundo) are:

  • 777 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
  • 3550 Grand Oaks, Corona
  • 467 Stonewood St., Downey
  • 143 Main St., El Segundo
  • 1 World Way, Terminal 1, Los Angeles International Airport
  • 500 World Way, Terminal 5, Los Angeles International Airport
  • 2900 E Airport Dr., Terminal 4, Ontario International Airport
  • 6300 South Pacific Coast Hwy., Torrance
  • 777 San Manuel Blvd., Highland
  • 1222 Irvine Blvd., Tustin

The restaurants have remained closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and haven’t offered takeout or delivery service.

“Our business is a dine-in experience,” Goldberg said. “People love to come to our stores and listen to great rock and roll videos on our TV screens. And we have 52 beers on tap. That doesn’t translate well to delivery or pickup.”

But that’s about to change.

When the eateries reopen they will offer online ordering, curbside pickup and delivery.

Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties have been given the  go-ahead for restaurants to reopen, providing they follow social-distancing measures and other hygiene practices to keep customers and employees safe. Los Angeles County is still waiting for the OK to reopen further.

The biggest issue facing Rock & Brews, according to Goldberg, is the Payroll Protection Program money it has received. If a business spends 100% of the federal money it receives on payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities in the eight weeks after receiving the loan, the money is forgiven.

But Rock & Brews employees haven’t been working and have been on unemployment.

“If you don’t use it up in the first eight weeks you have to pay it back,” Goldberg said. “They need to extend that period to 24 weeks. And even when we do reopen, that takes time. We’ll have to have COVID-19 training for all of our employees.”

Extending the PPP program will require a lot more federal money. As of Friday, the Small Business Administration had given out roughly $511 billion of the $659 billion allocated to the program, leaving less than $148 billion to still be used.

The Rock & Brews restaurant chain was co-founded in 2010 by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, along with restauranteur Michael Zislis and concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano.

Eating and drinking establishments registered sales of $32.4 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in April, less than half of the $65.4 billion in sales just two months earlier, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced a bill on Wednesday aimed at helping restaurants stay afloat in the face of limited dining capacity, public fear and rising costs to cover masks, gloves and cleaning products.

The legislation would create a $120 billion grant program to help an estimated 500,000 independent restaurants survive a potentially long stretch when they may earn only a fraction of their former revenue.

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