Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideLynyrd Skynyrds' BBQ & Beer restaurant at The Excalibur in Las Vegas was closed for non-payment of rent Wednesday, leading the restaurant to sue to reverse the eviction. Unfortunately, the restaurant was unsuccessful in that endeavor.
The eatery had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and owed $425,000 in rent, according to Vegas Inc. The lawsuit claimed that The Excalibur failed to give the restaurant a chance to pay back rent prior to its shutdown, and that the eviction has damaged the restaurant's brand, placed the jobs of nearly 90 people in jeopardy and put perishable food in danger of spoiling.
On Friday, the restaurant’s owners appeared in bankruptcy court asking that it be allowed to re-open. According to Vegas Inc., Judge Linda Riegel denied that motion, saying the casino was within its rights after the owners had failed to either pay past-due rent or resolve default notices dating back to March. But the judge reportedly also warned The Excalibur that it would be subject to heavy damages if it later turns out the eviction was improper.
In addition, the judge also expressed concern about the fact the closure took place while the owners were observing the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which was Wednesday. While litigation over the eviction will continue, both sides indicated to Vegas Inc. that there’s little chance the restaurants will re-open.
When contacted by ABC News for a comment, The Excalibur’s parent company, MGM Resorts International, issued a statement saying, in part, that the restaurant “will remain closed for the time being," and added, "We are evaluating all of our options and considering future plans for these spaces, yet no details are finalized at this time.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer first opened last December. Its design is a tribute to the so-called "**** House," the ramshackle structure where the band wrote its classic songs. Its menu offers a range of barbecue styles from around the country.
As for Lynyrd Skynyrd themselves, they're currently on a tour that will wrap October 27 in Miami. On Monday, the band will perform songs for its latest CD Last Of A Dyin' Breed on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
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