Lavar Arrington Sports Bar Closes, Stiff Employees

A DC-area sports bar named after former Redskin and current DC sports radio host LaVar Arrington recently went out of business just two days before Christmas. ABC 7 in DC reports that employees of the establishment were stiffed on their last paycheck.

Lavar Arrington Sports Bar Closes, Stiffs Employees

The sports bar, called ‘The Sideline’, opened just last year but filed for bankruptcy early in 2009, with debts of reportedly up to $10M.

From the ABC 7 report:

 ”He was on the radio today, talking about how he has to finish his Christmas shopping and everything, and guess what — I can’t finish my Christmas shopping because I don’t have my check,” said Natosha Washington, an employee at The Sideline

The sign outside Lavar Arrington’s sports bar in Largo says closed. The movers are packing up and employees had no idea until Wednesday when they showed up for work.

Shaneka Green said about the employees, “They can’t pay their bills and take care of their children, because they don’t have a job. At least give people notice so they can put things in place.”

But the writing may have been on the wall. Earlier this year, The Sideline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a reported $1 million to $10 million in estimated liabilities.

It also made news in March, after a 35-year-old man from Bowie was shot and killed outside the restaurant. Then, this month, employees say paychecks started to bounce, and then weren’t printed at all.

Another account from the website BallerAlert.com:

Where does this leave the roughly fifty former employees? The ones who always stood by Arrington through it all? They are without a full month’s pay. For many that includes the tips they should have been able to take same-day in the first place. The payroll has already been processed, meaning they will pay taxes on income they never received.

The employees have had little luck contacting the former management and will likely have difficulties filing for unemployment. Banding together to bring a lawsuit is one option. However, Arrington is already facing suits from the Capital Centre Management Group, U.S. Food Services, Reliable-Churchill, and the State of Maryland. It will clearly be a lengthy process with no guarantees of success. Unless Arrington has a change of heart, it is unlikely they will ever receive their due pay.

Before we all pile on Arrington, it needs to be understood if Arrington is financially responsible for the debt to creditors and employees - or if he was just licensing his name to the restaurant.

The WASHINGTON POST adds:

Bennie Brooks, the lawyer listed as representing Arrington in the bankruptcy proceedings, said he was “not available to give any comment whatsoever.” 

I’ve also been personally informed via email today that Arrington may be preparing to make employees whole in short order, possibly as soon as tonight. Stay tuned.