In the end, anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to the bankruptcy of Bob's Steak & Chop House on Lemmon Avenue thought that the eatery would most likely wind up in the hands of Bob Sambol's former partner, Bill Lenox. He made no secret of his desire to buy the joint out of Chapter 11; he made keeping Sambol part of his bid; and in the fall, BSCH Management, owned by Lenox and Omni Hotels, set the minimum bid for Bob's when it went on the auction block. It wasn't till last month that another contender appeared: Del Frisco's, which offered $240,000 for the steak house before bidding was halted for various legal reasons.
But when bidding reopened last week, another party showed up -- something called Carryforward Enterprises, LLC, which, according to court documents, last week bought the debt Sambol owned to Frost National Bank. (Back in May, when Sambol's Silveroak Holdings filed for Chapter 11, that amount was $380,034.) When reached by Unfair Park this morning, Richard Grant, the attorney representing Carryforward, didn't want to say too much about the sale or his clients -- only that, yes, "there was an auction held yesterday, and we were the successful bidder." He took our info and said he'd pass along the number to his clients.
(Update: Thanks to the handful of Friends of Unfair Park who have passed along Carryforward's certificate of organization on file with the Texas Secretary of State, which lists ex-Zales exec Michael G. Shost as the initial registered agent.)
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Sambol, when reached at the steakhouse moments ago, said he didn't want to name those behind Carryforward ("I'll let them make it public"). Matter of fact, he says, "I don't really know a whole lot about them," though two of the main men behind it are, he says, "good customers and good guys."
"They're people who wanted to be in business with me," he says. "I know a few of them, and they were very enthusiastic and aggressive and wanted to see Bob's continue as Bob's. So I'll be here, and nothing will change."
Sambol says the sale won't be final till Judge Harlin D. Hale OK's the sale on December 7.
"They have to cross all the t's and dot all the i's and get everything ready," he says. "It's full steam ahead. But the most important thing is nothing will skip a beat. It's business as usual, and business is great. So it looks like it'll be a happy ending."