Restaurateur Robert Earl’s group of dining brands raked in up to $58 million in forgivable PPP loans

Just the News reached out to Earl Enterprises to find out if the company plans to pay back any of the loans it received but they did not respond

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Planet Hollywood and Buca Restaurants
Planet Hollywood and Buca Restaurants
(Photo by John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Updated: July 10, 2020 - 12:49pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A group of restaurants that received top-dollar taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program loans are all linked to multi-millionaire restaurateur Robert Earl, the founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood.

Famous early investors in Planet Hollywood International Inc. included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis.

Earl’s restaurant brands also include Bravo Brio Restaurants LLC, Buca Restaurants 2 Inc., Bertuccis Restaurants LLC and Buca Restaurants Inc., which operates Buca Di Beppo locations. 

Each received forgivable loans of $5 million to $10 million, the highest category of loans provided, according to Small Business Administration data.

Earl, chairman of Earl Enterprises, purchased Bertuccis for $20 million last year and recently purchased Bravo and Brio.

The company did not respond to questions from Just the News about the exact amount of each loan and whether the company plans to repay any of the loans. 

Planet Hollywood Orlando received a loan of up to $5 million, and Planet Hollywood Broadway LLC received one between $1 million and $2 million.

Planet Hollywood LV LLC, which is affiliated with the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, is listed in the category of between $350,000 to $1 million. Earl is chairman of the resort. Planet Hollywood Region VI Inc. is shown in the $150,000 to $350,000 category. 

According to the SBA, the Paycheck Protection Program loans, which are part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, are forgivable if "at least 60 percent" is put toward payroll. The rest can apply to qualified expenses such as rent and utilities.

 

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