WICHITA — Bill Rowe's 24-year-old Willie C’s Cafe & Bar closed two years ago, but he's now facing a lawsuit over about $25,000 his creditor says he still owes.
Pramco II LLC is a group of investors who bought the loan Rowe had on the building.
"We signed over all of our fixtures and furniture and equipment to them," Rowe says.
He thought that would take care of the remainder of what he owed.
"It was worth much more than that."
Rowe says he didn't have an agreement with Pramco that the LLC would take the equipment in lieu of payment.
"No, it was just implied," Rowe says.
"We advised them that they were there . . . and offered to assist, and they just basically ignored it," he says. "We think their claim is without merit because there's assets that they let slip away . . . that would have paid off the note."
Rowe says whatever happens with the lawsuit won't affect his current businesses, Red Bean's Bayou Grill & Bar and Blue Moon Caterers.
"They're really not connected in any way."
Rowe says his restaurant business is down about 5½ percent, which he says is OK considering the economy.
His catering business is up by about 6 percent.
"We've been really aggressive in improving our offerings to the customers."
If it weren't for the economy, Rowe says, "Who knows where we'd be?"