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B.B. King's Blues Club at Mirage in Las Vegas Files for Bankruptcy

By Steve Green, Las Vegas SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Feb. 18, 2011--Add B.B. King's Blues Club to the list of bankrupt Las Vegas restaurants and nightclubs.

The owner of the restaurant and live music club at the Mirage hotel-casino filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in Memphis on Wednesday in a bid to restructure $3.764 million in debt and other liabilities.

A message for comment on the bankruptcy was left with the owner, Beale Street Blues Company Las Vegas LLC.

The Las Vegas club and restaurant is part of a Memphis-based group of B.B. King's clubs named for the music legend. The other B.B. King's -- which are not part of the bankruptcy -- are in Memphis, Nashville, Orlando and West Palm Beach, Fla.

The initial bankruptcy filing didn't specify why the Las Vegas club filed for bankruptcy, but noted its assets of $2.57 million are less than its liabilities.

The chief liability of $2.5 million is owed to parent company Beale Street Blues Co., though it's unclear from the filing if this is for a loan or for an investment.

Other creditors include the landlord: MGM Resorts International's Mirage hotel-casino. The Mirage's claim of $585,000 is listed as "contingent/disputed," indicating there may be disputes between the club and the hotel-casino.

MGM Resorts International said in a statement: "This is a matter being discussed between our legal counsel and theirs and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment publicly." B.B. King's lease at the Mirage runs through November 2014, the bankruptcy filing says.

Creditors include contractors and food and beverage suppliers owed various amounts, the state of Nevada owed some $80,000 in sales and entertainment taxes, the Culinary Union welfare fund owed $34,000, public relations agency PR Plus owed $22,000 and First Alliance Bank in Memphis owed about $233,000.

Creditors also include businesses that provide advertising services. Three of those are sister companies of the Las Vegas Sun: Las Vegas Weekly is owed $6,130, Vegas Magazine Partners is owed $4,130 and is owed $500.

The Las Vegas club and restaurant said its assets include some $1.5 million in leasehold improvements.

The Las Vegas club, which opened in 2009, generated sales of $8.636 million in 2010 and $1.178 million so far this year, the filing said.

The filing is the latest in a series of setbacks for Las Vegas restaurants and clubs during the recession.

Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay, Prive at Planet Hollywood and Hawaiian Tropic Zone and Trader Vic's at the Miracle Mile Shops/Planet Hollywood have all closed; while Beso restaurant/Eve nightclub at CityCenter and Krave at the Miracle Mile Shops/Planet Hollywood remain open during their bankruptcies.

Also, in 2009 Wolfgang Puck's Chinois restaurant at the Forum Shops at Caesars closed, forcing the closure of the Poetry nightclub upstairs from Chinois.


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