Restaurants Acquisition I LLC, operator of Black-eyed Peas 14 Texas restaurants, files for bankruptcy
The owner and operator of Texas’ Black-eyed Pea restaurants has filed for bankruptcy reorganization.
Restaurants Acquisition I LLC submitted paperwork for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday, citing lack of capital and dwindling profit. The Arlington-based operating company said in filings that as of January it operated 30 stores, but has been forced to close 15. Today, it manages 14 Black-eyed Pea restaurants in Texas, including seven in North Texas, and one in Henderson, Tennessee. It also owns Dixie House on Gaston Avenue in Dallas.
Black-eyed Pea was founded in 1975. BY BILLY HATHORN VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
According to filings, the company, which reported assets between $1 million and $10 million in its filing, has been unable to bring in new investments over the past two years despite hiring two investment bankers to explore recapitalization and sale possibilities. It also has debt between $10 million and $50 million, with a dozen North Texas companies among a list of 20 creditors.
Money problems have forced the restaurant operator to cut its employee count from 1,800 workers to 875 hourly and 75 salaried workers. It is seeking court approval to continue to pay its remaining employees and honor $286,570 worth of unused gift certificates.
US Foodservice is the largest creditor listed, with $881,000 owed.
Black-eyed Pea is a Dallas-born concept founded in 1975 by notable restaurateur Gene Street.
Black-eyed Pea has had several owners over its 40-year history, including DenAmerica, now known as Phoenix Restaurant Group, which filed for bankruptcy in 2001. At the time, DenAmerica shut down 48 locations, whittling Black-eyed Pea’s footprint to 44 restaurants.
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