Phoenix Bankruptcy Law News

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection for Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurant

Has Bill Johnson’s Big Apple restaurant bit the big one by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection?

Not to worry, Phoenix barbecue lovers, the move will allow “Arizona’s Original Steakhouse” to reorganize amidst the economic downturn, and no layoffs or closures to any of its five restaurants are expected, according to CEO Sherry Cameron.

“This allows us to restructure our debt in a market of declining sales and falling real estate values,” Cameron told the Phoenix Business Journal.

Businesses typically file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to restructure their business in the hopes of becoming profitable again - the owners/management still run the day-to-day business operations but all significant decisions must be approved by a bankruptcy court.

The Big Apple restaurant has been a staple in the Valley since 1956, when the barbecue joint's namesake, Bill Johnson, and his wife, Gene, opened their first restaurant in Phoenix. The company currently has three Phoenix locations, as well as one in Mesa and one in Goodyear.

The restaurant has continued to be a family-owned business with Cameron, the granddaughter of Bill and Gene, taking over the reins of the company in October 2009.

Hopefully, the Big Apple restaurant will be able to continue "Arizona Cookin' Done Right" through the restructuring it undergoes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"It has been tough in this economy for local, family-owned businesses, and the restaurant industry as a whole," Cameron said. "Bill Johnson's Big Apple is taking the steps necessary to ensure the company's future is a success."

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