TAMPA — The Orlando parent of the Aquaknox seafood restaurant in the Westin Tampa Bay and Timpano Italian Chophouse in Old Hyde Park Village has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
E-Brands Restaurants is controlled by Rashid Choufani, an industry veteran who arrived in Florida 25 years ago to run the Marrakesh Moroccan restaurant in Epcot at Walt Disney World. He later shifted his focus to high-end, themed dining in upper-tier hotels. E-Brands also owns the three remaining Samba Room night clubs.
Sales at his 12 destination restaurants, which stretch from Florida to the Venetian Resort Casino in Las Vegas, fell from $57 million to $44 million in 2009.