It's been almost two months since Silveroak Holdings, Ltd. -- better known as Bob's Steak & Chop House -- filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas; on this otherwise slow news morning, well, it seemed like a good time to check in. Which, as you'll see from the doc below, is putting it rather mildly: On Tuesday, the U.S. Trustee in charge of the case, William Neary, filed papers asking Judge Harlin D. Hale to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee to replace owner Bob Sambol, who Neary thinks has far too many conflicts to adequately and appropriately serve the "interests of creditors."
Among the issues: the $300,000 Lee Thompson loaned Sambol for the cigar bar, which never happened and instead led to a criminal indictment against Sambol; and the increasing likelihood that Bob's on Lemmon Avenue will be sold -- perhaps to Bill Lenox, Sambol's former partner and the president of Bob's Steak & Chop House, the franchising entity that recently sold a 50-percent stake to Omni Hotels. Lenox, according to the filing, has been providing the original Lemmon location with money during the bankruptcy proceedings, and Neary considers a possible Lenox acquisition a conflict of interest: "Lenox has indicated that it will participate in bidding on the Debtor. As Sambol and Lenox have a lengthy history, it is likely that Sambol will negotiate a position for himself when the Debtor is sold." Neary believes the creditors would be better served by someone without ties to Sambol buying Bob's.
Concerning the missing $300,000, Neary is particularly concerned. He writes, "At a minimum, an inability to explain the disposition of a $300,000 investment is 'incompetence' or 'gross mismanagement.' Combined with the indictment, questions of fraud and dishonesty arise." Hale should have a decision by August 10, the next scheduled hearing. I've been unable to reach Sambol this morning and will update when we talk. Till then, the filing follows after the jump.
Update at 2:30 p.m.: Several Friends of Unfair Park have also directed our attention to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission's delinquent list, where Bob's makes an appearance. Notes the site, "No sales or deliveries may be made on or after the effective date below," which is July 8.