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This Popular Oakland-Based Vegan Burger Restaurant Has Filed for Bankruptcy Protection

Plus, Souvla and Square Pie Guys are joining forces and more food news

A spread of goodies at Malibu’s Burgers including the “Hella, Hella Fries.”
A spread of goodies at Malibu’s Burgers including the “Hella, Hella Fries.”
Malibu’s Burgers
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

The owners of Oakland’s favorite plant-based burger since 2019, Malibu’s Burgers on Piedmont Avenue, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, alleging they fell prey to a “bad loan.” The former food truck turned mega hotspot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to complications from a loan package from business financier Credibly, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Malibu’s brought in $1.14 million in revenue in 2021 and $257,000 in 2020, according to a court filing last week, but regardless the owners counted just $5,000 in assets and more than $250,000 in liabilities, according to the document.

According to the Business Times, founder and co-owner Darren Preston believed he was taking an $85,000 loan from Credibly last year, but the deal was actually a receivables purchase agreement. Credibly now says they’re owed $114,325 in future debt from the agreement, which included a 9.7 percent interest rate. Credibly also began collecting a “daily remit amount” of $577.40 from Preston’s bank account. A virtual hearing is set for March 29. Preston and the crew will still be dishing up burgers and shakes, saying that the bankruptcy has no immediate impact on the day to day of the business.

Longtime Sacramento bar takes on new owners

The Bordisso family has held the deed to Old Ironsides bar in Sacramento since 1934, or just over 88 years, but now the family has passed ownership to business developers Bret Bair and Eric Rushing. The Sacramento Bee reports the new owners also launched bars Ace of Spades and the now-defunct Holy Diver, and plan to run Old Ironsides in much the same way it has been run for decades.

San Francisco fried chicken flies east for the future

Hotbird, the Twitter building and pop up phenom, is headed to Oakland. In an Instagram post, co-owners Aaron Nam and Caleb Longacre announced their time in the city has come to an end as a promising Oakland location has lured them across the bridge. Fans can find them at 1951 Telegraph Ave #2 starting next month; the business website lets customers know gift cards will still be good at the new location.

Souvla and Square Pie Guys team up

As of April 4, Bay Area residents can enjoy fast casual Greek chain Souvla at the same time as one-year-old all-star business Square Pie Guys. The mashup is called the Souvla Pie Guys, and sports Souvla’s chicken salad on top of a pie. A kickoff event will be held on Sunday, April 3 from noon to 4 p.m., at Square Pie Guys’ new Oakland location. (There’s two mini cups of Souvla’s frozen yogurt in it for all guests who purchase pizza.) Reservations can be made here for the free event.

Livermore wineries are by women, for women

The Mercury News tells the story of the Block, a group of five urban wineries on South Vasco Road, all of which are owned by women, and lists plenty of other places to get a buzz from woman-owned wineries. Many of the owners cite Livermore’s inclusive approach to community as a reason they chose the area for their business over other regions.