After a good start, Madear’s restaurant in Pembroke faces financial problems

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Madear’s Southern Eatery and Bakery, which once served generous portions of crawfish, croissants and liberal fare, created a buzz in Pembroke when it opened in October last year.

One owner, Robb Curry, brought his cooking from Baton Rouge north, while the other owner, Kyle Davis, a Granite Stater native, brought baked goods, blending the two styles in an alliance few had known. .

But while the idea seemed to work, especially on weekend nights, the owners recently announced in a note to clients that a financial snafu – created because the two men had tried to keep their own books – had them forced to close, adding that they needed $70,000 to get back on their feet.

Some of that money is owed to the New Hampshire Department of Revenue, and the owners are hoping the public will help foot the bill.

Meanwhile, no specific reason for the error was cited in the post, and neither Davis nor Curry could be reached for comment.

The memo said, among other things: “There is no one in charge of financial accounting. We thought we could handle it internally, but in light of recent events, we fully understand our limitations and will be hiring an accountant who has restaurant experience in New Hampshire.

The message went on to say that the couple will also hire a lawyer to represent them in talks with the Department of Revenue.

“Before, we relied on help from family members,” the memo continues. “There were too many cooks in the kitchen and a lack of communication.”

The State Department of Revenue’s website lists 19 businesses in Pembroke on its Granite Tax Connect page, meaning these establishments have an active restaurant and rental license.

Madear is not on the list.

“It means one of two things,” said Carollynn Lear, the department’s assistant commissioner. “That they were never licensed to operate a restaurant in the state, or it could mean they were licensed at some point and revoked or they returned it and have said they were no longer operating.”

Lear wouldn’t specifically comment on Madear’s status. However, the company and its trade name are still registered as active and in good standing with the office of the Secretary of State.

Curry, who is black, and Davis, who is white, added spice to Main Street in downtown Suncook 13 months ago. Their establishment did more than just serve food.

They are longtime partners who promoted inclusion, acceptance and progressive ideals to create a liberal stronghold that included a rally, with Democratic lawmakers, at their restaurant last May to push for a higher minimum wage. raised.

With their business opening during the pandemic, Curry and Davis have become news billboards in three ways: economic, political and cultural.

“We face social justice issues in our daily lives, raising two kids and opening a business and trying to run it in New Hampshire,” Davis said six months ago at the minimum wage rally.

They moved to Manchester and opened a restaurant there, after running an establishment combining food service with a bakery in Boston for seven years.

Then they moved to Pembroke, citing the need for more space. In their recent memo, Davis and Curry apparently answered those who had questioned their reasons for leaving Manchester.

“Firstly, we want to make it clear to everyone that we left Manchester (although we didn’t want to) not because of our initial financial accounting issues,” it read, “but because we we needed more space to grow, more parking, more visibility on the main street.

This time, the owners say, they moved quickly to release information in the name of accountability and to speak directly to their customers.

Curry and Davis only went so far in their post, however, giving no specific details that would explain the sudden decision to close. The restaurant had a strong fan base, which is why the news that it was closing due to financial issues was so strange.

They said it needed money to pay the state, renew their liquor license and make improvements, including streamlining their menu to address staff shortages, and amenities such as an oven convection, full-size frozen daiquiri maker, beer cooler, and refrigerated bakery display case up front.

They estimated the cost at $70,000.

“We need to share something with you that is really hard for us to do,” their memo, addressed to “Madear’s family,” said.

“We messed up and it’s a pretty big mess. We wondered how it happened like that?

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