Lefty’s closes amid allegations of tens of thousands owed
Popular Caxton St venue Lefty's Old Time Music Hall has suddenly closed amid allegations it owes more than $170,000 to a raft of creditors including musicians, a security guard firm and consultants.
Lefty's closed over the weekend and 'For Lease' signs have been plastered across the front of the venue which was under licence to Arklow Pty Ltd.
The closure comes just days before thousands of U2 fans swarm Caxton St for tonight's concert at Suncorp Stadium.
The sole director of Arklow Pty Ltd is Glenn Gration who is also the director of the two companies that are the licensees for Caxton St venues Ruby Tramp and Enzo & Sons.
The doors to Enzo & Sons were open on Tuesday morning when The Courier-Mail visited although there was no one to be seen.
Arklow Pty Ltd was the subject of a $160,000 civil lawsuit filed in the Brisbane's District Court in May by an employment services consultants which is still before the courts.
In July, a Sydney Court made a default judgment against Arklow Pty Ltd for $11,200 in favour of Coca-Cola Amatil (Aust) Pty Ltd for 'goods sold and delivered'.
It's also alleged that numerous Brisbane musicians have not been paid including not-for-profit Blues Association of South East Queensland (BASEQ).
BASEQ president Paulette Steele said they had received just $162.50 of $650 that has been owed since May.
In September, Mr Gration told The Courier-Mail that the "matter had been resolved" with BASEQ.
"They said they would make four instalments, but we have only received one," Ms Steele said.
Other musicians have contacted The Courier-Mail in the past alleging they were owed money but they have not been prepared to go on the record in fear of not being paid.
Musician Christian Tryhorn took to social media on Saturday to bag the venue for not paying musicians including "one of our own bands".
"After 3mths of back and forward, empty promises, stalling, "we're working on it", even a "do you think money grows on trees?", they didn't pay up and shut up shop," he wrote.
"Full rebrand required, Leftys name is cursed. Used to be one of the best joints in Brisbane, played there many times."
RE/MAX City real estate agent Geoff Esdale said he was unaware why it had closed but that it was for not only available for lease, but for sale for $3.5 million.
"I've had a deluge of calls since the sign went up Saturday morning," he told The Courier-Mail.
Queensland Private Security boss Chandeep Bindra alleged he is owed about $12,000 for providing guards for Lefty's over a two-month period earlier this year.
"I have texted him repeatedly but he never responds," Mr Bindra said.
It was less than a year ago when bar tsar Jamie Webb off-loaded the venue in controversial circumstances to employee Mary Joy Redmond.
Webb sold the still-trading business to Ms Redmond before appointing administrators to his company Majid Pty Ltd on October 31.
Redmond was the sole director and secretary of Arklow Pty Ltd from August 31, 2018 until December 20, 2018 when Mr Gration took over both titles.
Ms Redmond remains a minor shareholder while another minor shareholder is Urban Asset Management No 2 Pty Ltd which Mr Gration is the sole director and shareholder.
Mr Gration is also the sole director of Urban Asset Management 3 Pty Ltd which owns Enzo & Sons, another venue that is alleged to owe money.
Quickfire Firewood owner Len Arkadieff said his three decade-old business was owed $1,865 for half a dozen deliveries to Enzos & Sons between January 10 and April 8.
In September, Mr Gration told The Courier-Mail that management had spoken with both Queensland Private Security and Quickfire Firewood and payment would begin soon.
Mr Arkadieff, whose business also supplies to up-market restaurants Cha Cha Char and Blackbird, said he has yet to see any payment.
"I've haven't heard a thing," he told The Courier-Mail on Tuesday.
Neue Lighting director Dean Brosnan and sparky Lyle Rodgers, owner of UPLEC Solutions, allege they are still collectively owed $13,000 for work they undertook on Enzo & Sons and Ruby Tramp.
Mr Brosnan, who is also the director of lighting supply company Lightcore, said they spent "two solid weeks" on the project, including design work, after-hours on-site product testing, and customisation of products, planning and installation.
"We are still owed the same amount and that's after we met with the when they let us come and pick up some of our gear that was left on site," he said.
Mr Gration claimed in September that the businesses had suffered a setback when alcohol and cash went missing earlier this year.
"Management is in the process of contacting every supplier of Lefty's Old Time Music Hall and Enzo's to ensure all outstanding invoices are paid and encourages anyone who believes they are owed money to contact them," he said.
"All current suppliers are being paid immediately on delivery."
Mr Gration has been contacted for comment.