An attorney for the owner of Lodge Sports Grille says they hope the expected profits from the two new locations will “stop the hemorrhaging” and allow the company to pay back taxes to the government.
A local sports-bar chain is set to open two new restaurants soon — right after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its six existing locations.
The Lodge Sports Grille, which opened the six between Mukilteo and South Seattle since 2010, made separate filings for each of the six locations Monday in bankruptcy court in Seattle.
The group’s owner, Shawn Roten, said Wednesday the restaurants remain open and that there are still plans to open a new restaurant in West Seattle next week and in Renton about a month and a half later.
Larry Feinstein, an attorney for the Mukilteo-based company, said hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to renovate the space for the two new locations added up quickly and that Roten was unable to pay a tax bill of about $1 million.
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“It just grew too fast with construction costs and overages. But the restaurants are all operating and open and running right along,” Feinstein said.
The plan is to use expected profits from the two new restaurants, as well as the others, to pay the back taxes: “That’ll stop the hemorrhaging,” he said.
The six existing sites are in Mukilteo, Mill Creek, Kirkland, downtown Seattle, Greenwood and just north of the Seattle stadiums.
Feinstein said the business is pulling in more than $10 million in revenue per year.
All vendors and employees have been paid in full, and Roten intends to pay back the state and federal governments in full, the attorney said.
“They’re well received, well operated, and other than the fact that he had to use tax money to get the last two lodges open, we wouldn’t be here” in bankruptcy court, Feinstein said. “We don’t intend to go out of business.”
It’s not hard to see how the costs added up quickly. The company’s website has a section devoted to its intricate process of gutting spaces and building new bars from the ground up, bringing in “truck loads” of wood from their preferred mill in Oso.
“We find the rarest solid black walnut slabs, heavy timber beams, raw wide-plank flooring that will be milled later on site, and our favorite, the Alaskan cedar planks,” the site says. “Every aspect of the build is built by hand and done on site.”
In a short feature in Seattle Met last year, the magazine said Roten’s plans to open as many as 10 new locations was “fast expansion, even by Seattle standards.”
A search of local court records shows Roten and the restaurants have been subject to numerous tax warrants recently.
The court filings are preliminary and don’t yet provide detailed information on the chain’s financial situation.
“It’s tough but it’s what we had to do,” Roten said.
The Renton facility had not previously been announced.
This story has been updated to clarify that profits from all the restaurants are expected to help repay the company’s taxes.