Staff and creditors contacted the Lancashire Post sister publication the Lancaster Guardian yesterday afternoon to speak of their shock at the news just two weeks before Christmas.
It is understood the administrators came in the same day.
Several pubs plus a head office in Lancaster are affected, along with many local suppliers who say they are owed thousands of pounds.
They own 1725, Fibbers and The Water Witch in Lancaster, The Duke of Rothesay and The Old Hall in Heysham, Royal Hotel in Bolton-le-Sands, William Mitchell in Morecambe, The Tithe Barn in Garstang, and six further pubs in York and Leeds, as well as York Brewery.
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One local supplier said she was devastated by the news, which came out of the blue and left her owed up to £10,000.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful,” she said. “They must have known this was happening and now they won’t answer any calls or emails. They just kept on buying from me knowing this was going to happen.
“I just can’t believe they have done this. It’s the timing of it that makes it so bad.”
Companies House have Mitchell’s directors listed as Jonathan Barker and Julia Hodge.