Stop us if you've heard this before, but it looks like Seattle-based Bill the Butcher may finally be cleared to open at Fourth and Main in Edmonds. It's flush with capital and back to talking about national expansion.
Bill The Butcher today released a statement announcing the settlement of its lawsuit with High Capital Funding, LLC., which earlier this year filed suit in the Federal District Court for the District of Nevada for the non-payment of a $300,000 promissory note.
Today's statement said that Bill the Butcher had also settled three other lawsuits, as well as completion of the restructuring of over $1.5 million of debt and the securing of $500,000 in capital.
One of the businesses' lawsuits, a particulary contentious one, was filed by co-founder William Von Schneidau against the other co-founder, J'Amy Owens. The store bears Von Schneidau's name.
Bill the Butcher opened its first shop, in 2009, in Woodinville. Since then, it has closed locations in Madison Park and Bellevue. Its four remaining locations are Woodinville, Laurelhurst, Redmond and Magnolia. (It also has a property in Wallingford and has talked about opening one in Kirkland.)
It's been more than two years since Bill the Butcher hung its shingle in Edmonds. In the summer of 2011, after coming up short in what was expected to be a major investment, the store quietly put off its plans in town. This was just 10 days after the store said it would be opening within the month.
Last September, after renovating its space, Bill the Butcher publicist Alan Brown said the Edmonds shop would be open by Thanksgiving.
But everything looks good now, apparently.
So will Edmonds open?
"You could most reasonably assume that could be exactly right," Kelly Runfola, of Acorn Management Partners in Alpharetta, GA, told Edmonds Patch today. Acorn Management handles Bill the Butcher's investor relations.
"I cannot go into specifics not publically announced but they have leases already in place," said Runfola. "That $500,000 in new capital raised will go to store expansion and into the Internet e-commerce program. The company could do anywhere from $20 million to $30 million in revenue by next year. The most they've done to date is $2.2 million. This is what the company has been waiting to happen."
A definitive statement on Edmonds should come as early as next week, Runfola said.
The company that has propped up Bill the Butcher is Finance 500.
“Since we retained the services of Finance 500 in May, our company has made a dramatic turnaround," said Owens, now sole CEO of Bill the Butcher, in the statement.
"In five months, William Watson, of Finance 500, was able to bring in $500,000 of new capital, restructure $1.5 million of debt, and personally negotiate the settlement of four lawsuits. It has been nothing short of a business miracle. Formerly, we had spent over half a million dollars in litigation defense costs, and Watson envisioned the strategy and presided over an effective solution for all the parties.”
Here is the rest of today's news release:
Frank E. Hart, Manager of High Capital Funding, LLC. stated, “We have always respected J’Amy’s insights and entrepreneurial vision for her company. Unfortunately, as time went on, it was clear that the lawsuits from her co-founder and the former COO, were seriously hurting the company and damaging its access to the capital markets.
As it turned out, Mr. Watson and I were old friends from his days running corporate finance at Brookstreet Securities in Irvine, California. When Watson called me earlier this summer, I had substantial doubts that he could pull the company out of the flames. But, after devising his settlement plan, he also then executed it to perfection.
We are again big supporters of the company and are quite optimistic about its future. We think that with Watson and Finance 500 teaming up with Bill the Butcher, J’Amy Owens’ vision of national expansion for Bill the Butcher can become a reality.”
Watson is very philosophical about the events that have unfolded allowing for the settlement of the lawsuits facing the company. Watson stated, “In any business deal, you have to find a way for everyone to win. The Company needed to create a scenario whereby it became in the best interests for all parties to settle the suits so the company could survive and have an opportunity to prosper.”
J’Amy Owens added, “Other milestones we have met in the past few months include closing one underperforming location, relocating the commissary and relocating our headquarters. These decisions resulted in a savings of over $150,000 per year.
Our plan is to add 6 more stores to Seattle, build our internet commerce site, and prepare for our national expansion. “We can finally go back to work on the core business and do the things we do best, which are opening new stores and growing our meaty enterprise.”