Toby Keith’s Houston I Love This Bar & Grill in Trouble?
Toby Keith may be a successful restauranteur as well as an iconic country singer, but one of his popular I Love This Bar & Grill locations isn't faring so well. The Houston chain of Keith's bar is closed after management fell behind in paying their rent.
On Jan. 3, a note was posted on the door of the Texas I Love This Bar & Grill, stating that it was closed because they had not paid the landlord for their rent. The location is just one of 13 other restaurants in the United States, with about seven more on the way. But while the popular chain may be doing well across America, it looks like its West Houston spot has been struggling for months.
"The restaurant has been in trouble before," says Houston news outlet KHOU. "The bar still owes nearly $150,000 to workers who helped build it. Today there's locks on the doors."
But while the restaurant seems to be closed because of financial trouble, a press announcement released Jan. 5 states that Boomtown Entertainment -- the chain's parent company -- actually made the closure as part of a strategic move in expansion.
"Three retail leases are intent in Cleveland, San Antonio and Greenville, S.C. as Boomtown Entertainment continues to increase its national presence in further cities and strengthen its position in the hospitality industry," the press release says, adding that the closure of Texas location was just part of the plan. "The company has decided to tactically close locations in Houston, Folsom, Calif. and Newport News, Va. to evaluate and explore the marketplace for more strategic locations."
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill was co-founded by the iconic country star in 2008, inspired by his hit song, 'I Love This Bar.' The main tenants of the restaurant include a commitment to a classic American menu, beer in mason jars and a stage for live performances from chart-topping country musicians. The singer pulls approximately $12 million annually from his food chain.