Lynyrd Skynyrd restaurant group sues Excalibur to reverse eviction
28 September 2012
Map of Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ
3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas
The bankrupt and closed Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer and American Burger Works restaurants are suing the Excalibur hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip in a bid to reopen.
A lawsuit filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas on Thursday says the jointly-managed restaurants were effectively evicted Wednesday when the Excalibur shut them down for nonpayment of lease obligations. Shortly after the lockout, the restaurants filed for bankruptcy. They filed under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code, which normally is used by businesses hoping to stay open and hoping that their leases are honored.
The lawsuit says the Excalibur failed to give the restaurants a chance to catch up on past-due rent prior to the shutdown and that the eviction has damaged the restaurants’ brands, placed perishable food in danger of spoiling and the jobs of nearly 90 people in jeopardy.
The restaurants are asking the court to let them re-enter the premises to revive operations and said that under that scenario, they would pay rent to the Excalibur going forward.
“In this situation, and at these beginning stages of the (bankruptcy) cases, it is the debtors who will be irreparably harmed if they are not allowed back into their restaurants. Excalibur, on the other hand, will not be harmed if it is only forced to accept post (bankruptcy) petition rent,” the suit says.
Court records show the Excalibur is disputing assertions it improperly evicted the restaurants, and its attorney has advised the restaurants that their owner needs to quickly remove the perishable food including meat there.
“Otherwise, the landlord will be forced to dispose of all such items in the interest of public health and safety,” attorneys for Excalibur told attorneys for the restaurants this week, a court exhibit shows.
Court records show the restaurants have a common kitchen, meaning it only makes financial sense for them to operate when both are open. They owe the Excalibur at least $425,000 and since opening late last year, have struggled to keep up with rent obligations as well as to pay restaurant build-out expenses.
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