Half Lion Brewing has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to potentially reopen the Half Lion Public House next year in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Half Lion

Half Lion Brewing has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to potentially reopen the Half Lion Public House next year in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Half Lion

Half Lion files Chapter 11 bankruptcy in attempt to reopen Kent restaurant

Brewing company leases space from city; plans to file reorganization plan by Feb. 7, 2024

Half Lion Brewing is in the middle of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to reorganize and possibly reopen Half Lion Public House in Kent and its brewery in Sumner.

The company filed for bankruptcy in November after unexpectedly closing in October. Half Lion Public House rents restaurant/bar space at the Riverbend Golf Complex from the city of Kent.

“Half Lion’s bankruptcy is working its way through the court system,” Kent City Attorney Tammy White said in a Dec. 18 email. “The Chapter 11 bankruptcy process is designed to give businesses the opportunity to reorganize their debts, secure additional investments and stabilize business operations. Half Lion filed its bankruptcy petition on Nov. 9. After filing, Half Lion has 90 days to consider its options and propose its plan for reorganization.”

Half Lion anticipates timely filing its plan of reorganization on or before Feb. 7, 2024, according to Western District of Washington/U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents.

“Currently, all we know is that Half Lion is exploring with its attorneys what options it has available, which could include a proposal to continue to operate at the Riverbend Golf Complex,” White said. “The city will have a better understanding of Half Lion’s intent once it files its proposed reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court for consideration.”

Half Lion Public House, 2019 W. Meeker St., opened in 2019 and just six months later had to shut down due to the pandemic. In 2022, its first full year of operation, the restaurant/bar made a profit on its operations. But other company debts led to the closure.

“The city has retained an attorney experienced with commercial bankruptcy, and that attorney has timely prepared and filed the city’s formal proof of claim concerning debt owed to the city by Half Lion,” White said.

That proof of claim is for $21,341, according to city documents filed Dec. 6. Since the claim is based on a lease, the city lists $42,000 as the amount necessary to cure any default as of the date of the petition.

“Keep in mind, however, that the proof of claim articulates only those amounts owed to the city as of the date of the bankruptcy filing,” White said. “In order for Half Lion to assume the city’s lease for the purpose of continuing operations, or for the purpose of assigning the lease to a potential buyer, Half Lion will be required to cure all amounts owed under the lease at the time of assumption, including additional amounts to be determined that will establish adequate assurance of future performance by Half Lion or any assignee of the lease.”

Half Lion signed a 10-year lease with the city of Kent in 2019, plus three five-year options to renew, at a rent of $3,000 per month or $36,000 per year, with increases based on the Consumer Price Index.

In the meantime, White said, the city is exploring what options it may have available to restore food and beverage service at Riverbend, which features an 18-hole golf course and a driving range.

According to bankruptcy court documents, Half Lion anticipates funding the reorganization plan from regular business income. The company anticipates proposing a plan of reorganization which will pay all allowed administrative claims, secured claims, priority claims and some unsecured creditors.

Court documents describe Half Lion as a small business debtor and its aggregate noncontingent liquidated debts (excluding debts owed to insiders or affiliates) are less than $3.02 million. The company’s estimated assets are $100,000 to $500,000.

Half Lion has $1.3 million in liabilities based on claims. The company had gross revenue of $570,000 to $698,000 in each of the last three years, according to court documents. Owner

Jason Nelson received $75,000 in wages in the last 365 days as managing member and his wife Katie Nelson was paid $42,850.

Half Lion’s largest debts are business loans, including $248,000 with OnDeck Capital in Utah and $149,990 with Parkview Advance in Connecticut.

Half Lion also faces a civil lawsuit filed June 27, 2023 in King County Superior Court by The Baseball Club of Seattle (Mariners) seeking $80,000 from Half Lion, according to court documents. Half Lion agreed to pay $200,000 to the Mariners for sponsorship signage in 2021 at T-Mobile Park and sales of its beer. Half Lion has paid $120,000 of that fee.

Half Lion counter sued the Mariners for more than $100,000 claiming the Mariners didn’t live up to their advertising promises. Filings about the case continue in court. A trial date has been set for June 24, 2024.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Sysco employees show off job skills at Kent warehouse

Company holds competitions in warehouse work and truck driving

Summer Passports can be found at all 12 participating women-owned businesses. Courtesy photo.
12 local women-owned businesses launch summer passport program

In an initiative to boost small businesses in Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond, shoppers and patrons of each women-owned business will be eligible to receive weekly raffle prizes.

Kent Chamber of Commerce CEO Harris to participate in leadership program

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation selects her for national business course

Courtesy Photo, Safeway
Two Kent grocery stores on Kroger-Albertsons sale list

Safeway on SE Kent-Kangley and QFC on SE 240th Street

Kent-based Blue Origin completes seventh human spaceflight

Six-member crew included Ed Dwight, the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate in the 1960s

Christie Nelson new leader of John L. Scott office that serves Kent

Office also handles Covington and Maple Valley with 60 brokers

Kent-based Blue Origin’s seventh human flight set for May 19

New Shepard-25 will launch from West Texas

Kent’s copper-colored building near Highway 167 to become banquet hall

Facility on Washington Avenue South previously housed LA Fitness; newspaper printing plant

Kent-based Stoke Space names retired US Space Force leader to board

Lt. Gen. John E Shaw appointed to Board of Directors

City of Kent again looking for new tenant at Riverbend restaurant

City terminates lease with Half Lion Public House, which had hoped to reopen at golf complex

Kent-based Blue Origin announces crew for next space flight

6 members to include former Air Force captain selected in 1961 as first Black astronaut candidate

Kent man among 40 Under 40 honorees by Puget Sound Business Journal

Andy Song, 33, works as chief operating officer at Kids and Family Counseling