After years of financial trouble Bill the Butcher has at least temporarily shuttered all of its Seattle-area locations. According to an anonymous tip from a Bill the Butcher employee the company closed its stores "to reassess finances" and all its staff have not been paid for last pay period:
I've been with the company for a while and the only answer I got from corporate is that they couldn't pay us and that the shops are closed until they can find the money to buy product. The shops have been poorly stocked since the beginning of September and I know of at least 5 people quitting within the company. I have filed a complaint with Washington LNI and hope to be paid the money I am owed. This is for all the skilled butchers who have worked so hard to calm frustrated customers during this time of corporate disaster. For the love of meat I wish they would just close their shops for good!
Eater was able to reach a staff member today who confirmed that all stores are closed and the company is "hoping to reopen" but "does not have a firm yes or no."
Wallyhood reports that the Wallingford location is shuttered. The same sign was found in the window of the Laurelhurst store this morning:
Due to circumstances beyond our control we are closed until further notice.Thank you for your support, your patronage and welcoming us to your neighborhood. We hope to see you soon.
Established in 2009, the Seattle-based chain became publicly traded in 2010. Eater first reported on the cash-strapped company in 2011, when CEO/Owner J'Amy Owens disclosed that the firm had only $40,000 cash remaining.
The Seattle Times reported earlier this month on Sleep Country USA founder Sunny Kobe Cook's recent blog post rant about Owens: "I viewed her as a friend and someone who has always managed to make a good living, so I foolishly wrote 2 checks, each in the amount of $25,000." With interest, Kobe says she's been repaid $10,000 of the loan that, with interest, stands at $66,000.
Bill the Butcher recently reported sales over the last nine months that totaled only $1.3 million, representing a $3.2 million loss.