A pared back version of Criniti’s will continue to operate after a buyer stepped in to save the business.

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic lead to media reports a sale had fallen through last week, however it has since been confirmed South Australian Italian chain Brunelli Group will revive the Criniti Group’s remaining locations.

The Group’s Woolloomooloo location was closed in January 2020, while its Wetherill Park venue was shuttered this month. The remaining outlets in Castle Hill, Parramatta, Darling Harbour, Kotara (Newcastle), Carlton and Southbank (Victoria) are temporarily closed but will join the Brunelli Group, which is doubling its size with the acquisition. The Brunelli group will now operate 12 restaurants across three states.

A sale of the business’ assets is set to be completed on Tuesday 14 April 2020.

All memorabilia, trademarks, recipes and menus are including in the acquisition, so it’s expected the venues will adhere to the original Criniti’s experience when they reopen.

The Sydney-based Italian restaurant chain went into administration in 18 November 2019, with Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants appointed to oversee the venues.

At the time, five of the group’s 13 venues were closed immediately with Worrells partner Graeme Beattie indicating a “slimmed-down” operation would be “well-placed to trade profitably throughout the peak hospitality season.”

According to Beattie, the leaner operation did trade well through the holiday season and continued to “put up a good fight” when the federal government announced a ban on in-house dining, but struggled through April due to the poor trading conditions caused by COVID-19 regulations.

“Our faith has been rewarded,” said Beattie. “This is a remarkable tale of retail survival and a testament to the strength of the Criniti’s brand name.”

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