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South-side Ebbets Field closes amid bankruptcy

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In the wake of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filed April 24 by Bruce Swisshelm for Ebbets Field LLC, the Ebbets Field restaurant on South Glenstone Avenue has closed.

Swisshelm's Ebbets Field LLC had run the operations of two Ebbets Field restaurants. The company reported average monthly net losses of $10,610, according to the filing.

The East Walnut Street Ebbets Field restaurant, which employs 35, remains open under Pub Management LLC, which took over April 13 under the terms of a restaurant management agreement cited in bankruptcy court records. Pub Management is jointly owned by Ron Baird, an attorney with Baird, Lightner, Millsap & Harpool PC, and Lynn and Terry Allen, who is the head football coach at Missouri State University.

Baird, a former partner in Ebbets with Swisshelm, said the south-side Ebbets Field restaurant closed on the same day as the bankruptcy filing, and its roughly 20 employees lost their jobs.

"We're going to keep Ebbets Field on Walnut open and continue to operate that landmark restaurant that has been here for more than 30 years," Baird said, noting he and the Allens also own the building.

Baird said Swisshelm was the authorized agent for the bankruptcy filing, as he continued to have a hand in running the restaurants until the management agreement was formed.

Baird noted he is a 50 percent owner of SB Real Estate Holdings LLC, which owns the south-side former Ebbets Field building. Swisshelm owns the other 50 percent, Baird said.

Baird said Pub Management has agreed to purchase the Ebbets name and operations from Ebbets Field LLC for $485,000, pending court approval. The funding, he said, would be used to pay debts outstanding to Arvest Bank, the only creditor holding secured claims related to Ebbets Field LLC. In the bankruptcy filing, Arvest is listed as having two secured claims totaling more than $772,000.

Prior to Nov. 1, the Ebbets Field ownership was made up of Bruce and Margaret-Laughlin Swisshelm, Scott and Jodi Swisshelm, Baird's KTP Enterprises LLC and Lynn and Terry Allen. According to court filings, Bruce Swisshelm and Margaret Laughlin-Swisshelm sold their interest in Ebbets Field to Robert and Lori Bolks in November, prior to the Swisshelms' individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed on March 14.

On March 30, the Bolkses and Scott and Jodi Swisshelm relinquished their membership interests to Baird and the Allens.

According to the Ebbets Field LLC Chapter 11 filing by Swisshelm, the company's assets are $484,030, against $1.72 million in liabilities.

Creditors holding unsecured priority claims are:
  • the Internal Revenue Service, three claims totaling nearly $390,000;
  • the Missouri Department of Revenue, three claims totaling $90,000;
  • Scott Swisshelm, $12,468; and
  • Greene County Tax Assessor, totaling $6,000.
Bruce Swisshelm's bankruptcy attorney, David Schroeder, was unavailable for comment this morning.

Swisshelm took over the ownership of Ebbets Field in August 2010, purchasing it for an undisclosed amount from Lance Reeves. The second Ebbets Field was later opened in the former location of Rivals sports bar and restaurant.

Ebbets Field opened in 1981 on East Cherry Street but was moved to Walnut Street after Missouri State University purchased the Cherry Street site via eminent domain in 1993, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.[[In-content Ad]]

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