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Kathy Jack, Owner of Jack’s Backyard in Dallas, Releases Statement to Clear Controversy

Give these gals some credit (sorry) for speaking up when they’re down on their luck. Kathy Jack and Susie Buck of Jack’s Backyard closed their popular indoor/outdoor venue on June 26. There has been some talk going around about why they closed and even though they’ve released the statement below, I’m still a little unclear on their message. Owner Kathy Jack writes “I developed a plan with the head of the creditors’ committee to repay our back debts and start repaying investors but ultimately, we were not given that opportunity.” By the landlord? By the bank? Whatever,  I admire her courage and commitment to make things right. I’ve asked for more details. Below is the statement she released late last night.

Statement from Kathy Jack, Owner of Jack’s Backyard

With four days’ notice from the property owner, Jack’s Backyard closed for business on Sunday, June 26. I want to tell my friends, family, Jack’s customers and investors that I am truly sorry that this has happened. My partner, Susie Buck, and I worked along with our staff to make this business work.

There is so much misinformation and so many rumors. Jack’s opened on Oct. 31, 2008.  I never paid myself a salary during the two and a half year run. We simply cut back and lived on what my partner earned at her other job.  Jack’s was a BIG place and we opened in a tough economy. Jack’s Backyard earned only enough money to keep the doors open.  All along there was a 10-year plan to repay the Jack’s investors and I truly believed that was possible.

We reorganized in December 2010 with the help of a creditors’ committee. We implemented new daily operating office procedures, a new accounting system, a new daily transaction system, developed a new filing system and cut expenses.  At the time of closure we were current on all employee, liquor, and sales taxes.  In addition, we were current on all bills, including rent post-reorganization.

I developed a plan with the head of the creditors’ committee to repay our back debts and start repaying investors but ultimately, we were not given that opportunity.

I have spent 34 years in the service industry and I have been raised in this community. It means a lot to me that people believe in and trust me. I am adamant about making things right. Jack’s was built to be a backyard big enough to hang out with all of your friends. That mission continues.

Thank you for your love and support.

Kathy Jack and Susie Buck

  • jimrain

    One time at Jack’s I told Kathy, “You’re doing the Lord’s work here,” which I think surprised her a little. But I meant it. It was such a great place, an oasis that was unique in Dallas. Jack’s Backyard will be missed by so many people. But it certainly appears that Kathy and Susie are stand-up people who try to do right by their customers, investors, and employees. Let’s hope that they can untangle whatever difficulties they’re facing and get a chance to create a new great and unique place that contributes to making this town an interesting and enjoyable place to live.

  • Lee Patron

    One more time-
    “With four days notice (after the 6 months in which I had an opportunity to submit a repayment plan that was acceptable to the US Trustee’s Attorney in the bankruptcy I filed in December of 2010)from the property owner (after the bankruptcy court failed to accept my plan as viable and dismissed my case for reasons that are of public record on June 23rd)”….. etc.

  • Amy S

    Investments in restaurants are very high risk, hopefully the investors understood that.

    Inadequate operating capital is the number one reason for startup business failure, and in this economy there is very little traditional (cash) capital available to restaurants or bars.

    Sometimes these things happen for a reason. Maybe a better location will come along, where you can actually purchase the property instead of pay rent to someone else. And who knows, it may suit your needs and budget even better. Sometimes it’s easier to get a business loan when there is real estate collateral.

    Entrepreneurs fall down all the time, but then pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start all over again (best Ginger Rogers twirl here). Don’t give up the dream.

  • Foodie

    The main investor does own the building. That was the least of their problems. Rude bartenders, an overly nice restaurant for a very young crowd, and live bands almost nightly. Cheap bar food, a jukebox, and decent waitstaff would have been smarter in that location. Having to valet is a pain for that scene too. Save the live bands for once a month.

  • Mica L

    The first problem was that she borrowed more money than she could pay back to open the “dream” bar she is widely quoted as wanting to have and that she agreed to pay for. That’s nothing new in business, right?

    Another problem was that the bankruptcy judge denied her repayment plan because it was incomplete and didn’t add up. Again, nothing new in the world of restaurants and bars, although claiming that she wasn’t allowed to repay her creditors is a little bit misleading. I’m sure the court would have happily “given that opportunity”if it were within the realm of possibility based upon the documents she submitted.

    The biggest problem is that she still has not taken responsibility for those two problems and keeps trying to find someone else to blame, including those who forgave huge debts to keep her afloat.

    Once again, nothing new.

  • Carrie O

    On a brighter note, an amazing property is available and ready for a new and more capable operator at a very affordable rate, beginning immediately. :) Viva Oak Cliff!

  • phat phil

    wow! did caven enterprises have anything to do with this? i smell a caven rat…..

  • Drew

    Sad to see it go and really wanted it to succeed, but hated the mandatory valet – they got a nail in my tire which cost me $350 for a new tire, and if you’re not female, the service wasn’t good at all unless Kathy came by to say hello. Hope they learn from the first run and find a new spot in the area soon.

  • allen p

    Always money drama. Nothing has changed in 20 yrs. Bud light and women will take a lot out of a person.