Their once-popular restaurant, the Armadillo Barbecue, was famous for irreverent stunts and practical jokes, such as menus that listed weasel and roadkill, and mustard bottles...

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Their once-popular restaurant, the Armadillo Barbecue, was famous for irreverent stunts and practical jokes, such as menus that listed weasel and roadkill, and mustard bottles that shot string. But yesterday, Woodinville’s barbecue kings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.



Owners Robert and Bruce Gill closed the restaurant last year to focus on catering, but say they still need protection from creditors because of losses incurred by the restaurant. They are still offering takeout service from their catering location in Woodinville.



“They [my creditors] were more in a hurry for me to pay than I was,” said Robert Gill.



According to court records, the Gills list about $132,000 in assets and about $294,000 in debt. A business can continue operating under Chapter 11 while it comes up with a plan to pay creditors.



Armadillo owes about $65,000 in federal taxes, about $21,000 in back rent and about $31,000 in state business and sales taxes, bankruptcy documents say. The business also owes money to a food supplier and a Seattle law firm. Armadillo made $759,684 in 2002 and $636,214 in 2003, but no income was listed for 2004, the documents show.



“Catering was supporting the business since the tech boom in 2000,” said Gill. “The restaurant was losing money for five years, and we finally got out of our lease in November.”




















More about Armadillo Barbecue can be found online at www.armadillobbq.com.





 

The Gills shut their restaurant Nov. 28. They opened a takeout window at their catering kitchen at 12701 N.E. 178th St. in Woodinville recently, and plan to extend their hours when the weather improves. Their catering business has more bookings for this summer than it has for the past five years.



The brothers opened Armadillo 23 years ago in Bridle Trails and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a year later. The Gills then moved the business to downtown Kirkland, then to Woodinville in 1987.



Kristina Shevory: 206-464-2039 or kshevory@seattletimes.com