Going Liquid?

Last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee Victoria Tutterrow slapped the Entertainment Collaborative (Green Room, Jeroboam, Gypsy Tea Room) out of its chapter 11 bankruptcy protection slumber with a motion to dismiss or convert its case, filed last October, into Chapter 7--a move that would essentially force all three venues into liquidation. The motion states that the EC failed to file a reorganization plan due April 1 and that the venues are treading turbid water muddied by $255,000 in liabilities and just $95,000 in cash; "a dismal picture of debtors trying to reorganize after almost six months of bankruptcy protection," reads the motion. But EC Chief Executive Officer Whit Meyers disputes Tutterrow's gloomy assessment. He says her evaluation relies heavily on revenue figures from January and February, traditionally the most lackluster months for the EC. He promises the numbers for April and May will show significant revenue surges and that the EC intends to file its reorganization plan later this month. "This is her way of saying, 'Either get off your ass or we're going to dismiss this case,'" admits Meyers. Tutterrow acknowledges she filed the motion in part to prod the EC into action. "Traditionally, [bankruptcy] cases are not like wine," she insists. "They don't improve that much with age." The motion goes before a judge June 10.

This didn't last long: After a volley of press release fanfare a few short weeks ago trumpeting his new post as director of operations for Riccardi's Italian Dining in the Quadrangle, Wayne Broadwell is out. "I left in the capacity of where I was, but we're still working together," explains Broadwell. But owner Anita Riccardi says there are no working plans left on the table in the wake of Broadwell's departure. "We both didn't feel like it was his cup of tea," she explains... Gene Street, chairman of Consolidated Restaurant Operations (Cool River Café, Cantina Laredo, III Forks, Silver Fox, Spaghetti Warehouse, El Chico, etc.) says his company is furrowing the ground for the fourth Silver Fox Steakhouse, opening at Legacy and Highway 121 next October, adding to Silver Foxes in Grapevine, Fort Worth and Richardson, the latter a unit franchised to Silver Fox co-founder Dale Wamstad. Street says CRO is still struggling to install a Cool River Café on the Tollway somewhere south of 121, but the company hasn't yet been successful locating a site or tweaking the concept to make it work in the mostly bed-and-bath strip, where business passes out at midnight (the point at which Cool River starts to get profitable). In the meantime, Street is content to schmooze at III Forks, which generated revenues near $12.5 million last year. "I've got everything but a shine kit," he says. "You want a shine, brother, I'll shine 'em.


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