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But because Overstreet was put in a bind with their resignations coming just before opening, he offered to let the pair buy him out. It was while exploring various options to take over the restaurant that Broadwell and Antonovich say their suspicions were aroused concerning Overstreet's intent. Because they couldn't secure a long-term lease to operate in the space (set at $12,000 per month) from Norris and Berman's real estate company, they feared the Lone Wolf partners planned to quickly develop the new concept, take it public, and then sell the property at a hefty profit, leaving Broadwell and Antonovich empty-handed.
Their suspicions were further aroused when Overstreet's lawyers wouldn't disclose exactly what in terms of ownership the purchase of Overstreet's position would grant them. "There was a lot of uncertainty," admits Antonovich. "So I started to feel like there was something funny going on."
"That's ridiculous," counters Pronske. "That's speculation, but it's poor speculation." Pronske says the pair simply didn't understand Overstreet's complicated operating agreement with Lone Wolf, which was drawn up because, as an out-of-state resident, Overstreet is prohibited from acquiring a controlling interest in a Texas restaurant without first obtaining his own alcoholic beverage license, a process that can take months. The only way Overstreet could legally take control immediately, according to Pronske, was through an operating agreement.
Pronske adds that Overstreet's strength is business operations, while Broadwell and Antonovich shine on the creative side of restaurant operations. Broadwell, if unintentionally, seems to agree.
"Dennis kept touting that he had spent thousands of dollars to put lipstick on the old lady," he says firmly. "He bought the wrong shade.