Monday, June 22, 2015

Mint loses its flavor.

Ridgeland restaurant Mint closed down recently and filed bankruptcy.  Patrick Kelly owned the restaurant through his company, Mint Restaurant, LLC.  The company filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 10, 2015.   The petition stated it had less than $100,000 in assets and owed between $500,000 and $1 million.  However, the bankruptcy petition has encountered problems as the company has had problems meeting its obligations under bankruptcy. 

Bankruptcy trustee  Henry Hobbs, Jr. filed a motion to dismiss the debtor from bankruptcy on May 22.  He asked the court to force Mint into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  He claimed the company had not paid insurance as required and cited other reasons as basis for a dismissal.*  The landlord, Renaissance at Colony Park, LLC, also cited an acceleration clause and filed a motion to compel payment of rent on May 27 against another Kelly LLC, Kelly-Ferris, LLC.    RCP claimed the debtor in in default and owes $233,012 in rent.  Judge Edward Ellington also awarded first lien position to the IRS on May 29 and was owed $173,090.  The restaurant had apparently been having problems for quite some time as the order stated the company quit paying taxes in March 2014.  However, Judge Ellington released $14,626 back to the debtor and ordered him to make monthly payments if $2,847.  RCP again filed a motion to compel seeking payment of rent ($233,012) as well as permission to remove Mint and all contents from the premises.  Judge Ellington apparently awarded a stay of collection attempts by RPC.  A hearing is scheduled for June 30 at 1:30 on several matters regarding the bankruptcy petition.

*"Cause includes substantial or continuing loss to or diminution of the estate and the absence of a reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation; gross mismanagement of the estate; failure to maintain appropriate insurance that poses a risk to the estate or to the public; unauthorized use of cash collateral substantially harmful to one or more creditors; failure to comply with an order of the court; unexcused failure to satisfy timely any filing or reporting requirement established by this title or by any rule applicable to a case under this chapter; failure to attend the meeting of creditors convened under section 341(a) or an examination ordered under Rule 2004 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure without good cause shown by the debtor; failure timely to provide information or attend meetings reasonably requested by the United States trustee (or the bankruptcy administrator, if any); failure timely to pay taxes owed after the date of the order for relief or to file tax returns due after the date of the order for relief; failure to file a disclosure statement, or to file or confirm a plan, within the time fixed by this title or by order of the court; failure to pay any fees or charges required under chapter 123 of title 28; revocation of an order of confirmation under section 1144; inability to effectuate substantial consummation of a confirmed plan; material default by the debtor with respect to a confirmed plan; termination of a confirmed plan by reason of the occurrence of a condition specified in the plan; and failure of the debtor to pay any domestic support obligation that first becomes payable after the date of the filing of the petition. 11 U.S.C. § 1112(6). The list is not exhaustive."

Kingfish note: Its a shame to see a restaurant such as this one fail.  It was unique and brought something to the restaurant table in the Jackson area.  However, the metro area can only support so many upper-scale restaurants and it seems there is currently a shake-out going on in the local restaurant industry.  Farewell to the Duck Nachos.


Anonymous said...

Huh, I drive past it all the time & hadn't noticed.

Chefs & foodies like menus with weird, creative stuff. Joe Blow wants familiar stuff. A restaurant that tilts too far to the latter won't stand out. One that tilts too far to the former will have too few diners.

That said, restaurant mgmt. is a hard, relentless job in any event.

Longneck Please said...

The same crowd in the Metro follows new restaurants like a dog follows a tamale wagon. They go from place to place and post it all on Facebook. Newest among the list is at Levingston, out 463. If you wanta be somebody, you have to show up there. You have to follow the crowd and be seen and post it.

The same is true of every restaurant that comes to the area. At one time it was Ruth's Criss. It's been Saltines, the oyster place next to the Hilton, Shapley's, Ely's, Burgers and Blues, all the new places at Renaissance, you name it. A hundred of 'em.

Truth be known, probably 75% of the eating-out public in the Metro belong to the I-Hop, Outback, Red-Lobster, Shuckers, Catfish House crowd. Then there's the 15% who consider themselves well off enough to eat out every week, those who move around the circuit. The remaining 10%, or less, are eating out on a corporate spending account, entertaining themselves and folks from out of town who visit once every couple of months.

Places like Wild Wings and Cock of The Walk don't fall prey to this phenomenon and will be here for as long as they want to stay open. Most people in the Metro have never heard of Mint, much less eaten there. Me included.

Anonymous said...

Unique in the fact they never listened to customers. Bad service. Inconsistent food. Prices for several items much higher than their competitors. You have to know Patrick. He had a bad case of thinking he knew best rather than the clientele. No surprise. I quit going years ago. Plus I'm not paying 16 bucks for a short pour when it's 12 bucks and a big pour everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. My wife and went there last month for brunch when Another Broken Egg was too busy to get in. The place was nearly empty even though Another Broken Egg was packed, and they only had one waitress working for the whole restaurant. Our food arrived cold and took an hour to get to our table.

It was just a matter of time, but if they couldn't make a restaurant work in that location, there must have been some poor management decisions.

Anonymous said...

It is hard and relentless... but walking in Mint over the past 4 or 5 years, the service, food and experience were very hit or miss.

It seems like this place could have made it had it not been for better management... as it looks like they can't even respond to a request for their bankruptcy trustee.

Anonymous said...

It is so important for people to support local Mississippi-owned businesses. When you do, you help local families pay their bills and make a living. We have so many good local businesses, of all sorts, that we should all make an effort to support. Buy local. Try your best not to support out-of-state chains that take your money out Mississippi and back to their corporate headquarters in other states. When you spend money at a chain, you're not helping a family make ends're just padding the already full pockets of the big corporation.

Anonymous said...

"When you spend money at a chain, you're not helping a family make ends're just padding the already full pockets of the big corporation"

Unless said chain is a franchise, locally owned as so many are.

Anonymous said...

Following "Nicks" this is the second Out of Bounds advertiser to hit the skids!

Anonymous said...

So, Longneck please, you've never been to any of these restaurants, yet you can indict the entire Jackson restaurant scene based on the closure of one? Go to any major city in the country and there is near constant restaurant turnover. New restaurants get a temporary buzz, but good places stay open. And It'd be pretty sad to live in a world where my available choices were always dictated by what 75% of the general public chooses.

Mint was actually pretty unique to the area when it opened, but the menu was stagnant, and the service was average.

Anonymous said...

I guess all those out of state chains bus in employees from their out of state headquarters, and the local franchise owners don't count as local families trying to make a living? One thing I do like about those big corporations, my mutual funds seem to do well when they do well.

Anonymous said...

11:10, there is no reason to support a local business that provides bad food or bad service.

Anonymous said...

1. Evidently not enough people thought it fit the "y'all lifestyle".

2. Does this affect Julep? Is it soon to follow?

Anonymous said...

bravo 11:37. Those national chains also pay local taxes as well as wages. They also buy food from locals in some instances.

Anonymous said...

Great when it opened. Over time, food was hit or miss, service declined and the menu was limited. Still, hate to see it go. Great location...seemed like it could have been turned around.

Anonymous said...

@11:49, I sure hope not.

Julep is my favorite restaurant in the metro area!!!! Mint was too fancy schmancy for the area, I believe.

Hopefully they will learn from Mint and not make the same mistakes at Julep. I would be very sad if Julep were to close.

Anonymous said...

When Mint opened, it had the best gumbo in the metro area. Rice piled in the middle and large shrimp on top.

I agree that too many places have too many sauces. Things that chefs life and normal diners cannot stomach, particularly at night. That new place in Belhaven is just too rich a food to eat very often. The Restaurant at Fairview causes diners to beg for some non-fancy food at night.

I find myself going to Scrooge's and Drago's both of which are consistent and fairly plain food.

Livingston sounds good, but I like my vegetables most of the time without herbs. Herbs on some meats and salads can be good but not on everything. And no ketchup??

Anonymous said...

Don't the chains employ local people too?

Anonymous said...

I too am curious about Julep...anyone know? I eat there somewhat frequently and it always seems busy.

Anonymous said...

As the country continues in the current economic malaise, I think we will see a lot more of the upper end restaurants fall by the wayside. Mint was good, but not at the top of my list.

Anonymous said...

I choose to support local businesses when possible. I do also buy at a chain or big corporately-owned business if they have something I can't get at a local place (including if what they have is better quality than the same type item at a local business). Along the same lines, I try to buy from businesses located in the city where I live and work so that my sales tax goes to my city, and so that the businesses in my city thrive. I'm just saying that when possible, I buy local. Your choice may be different, but mine is always to go local if possible; if not, then I buy chain or corporate.

Anonymous said...

The Mint website is shutdown. Not a good sign.

Tough deal all around.

I don't live in Jackson, but I know the owner and went there once....didn't seem poised for longevity.

Was it just a bad service thing?

Anonymous said...

No it was a "not enough rooftops to support all of these restaurants" thing, 1:09.

Restaurant Owner said...

Sad. Restaurants today are having a hard time with food costs skyrocketing, rents jumping, labor costs escalating, and customer average tickets shrinking, Just recently we have had Nicks, Cherokee, Sweet Peppers Deli and now Mint close. I am sure there are others. and i know of a couple more on the brink. Others are jumping in, but this market is saturated. So, Mint won't be the last. The average restaurant grosses before taxes about 8 percent. A hard way to make a living.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Could care less. I spend no money in Jackson, City was lost when Dale Danks left office.

Anonymous said...

"Hmmm, Could care less. I spend no money in Jackson, City was lost when Dale Danks left office."

Mint was in Ridgeland. Thanks for playing!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Sam R Hall. Y'all trolled JJ for yet another story!

Anonymous said...

My last two experiences at Julep were very disappointing. I hope they will use this opportunity to re-focus attention on the service and food there.

Anonymous said...

What's the story with the closure of Sweet Peppers at Renaissance? I thought they had a good business there, at least the times I dined there they appeared to be busy.

With Mint's closure, that means there are two restaurant spaces (at least) available for lease at Renaissance.

Anonymous said...

For a local restaurant to be successful, you have to be known for something and do it very well. Steaks - Tico's, Shapley's. Seafood - Mayflower. Bravo, Amerigo - Italian. Babalu - Tapas. Sal and Mookies - Pizza. Manship - Wood fired food. Walkers - everything on the menu.

Mint's problem was that they did nothing great, and the prices were out of control for the quality/consistency. Plus, there is no telling how much the build out for that place was. I fear that Seafood Revolution will have a similar fate.

The strange think about Mint was that their catering was always spot on. It's crazy that you can nail your mass produced food, but lay an egg with your main source of revenue inside the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Julep filed for Chapter 11 on May 29. Bella Maria, LLC d/b/a Julep the Restaurant.

Back to you said...

3:39. Leave while you can. All hope is lost. Sell your home before appraisal values tank!!!

Anonymous said...

Panera is taking the Pepper's spot.

Anonymous said...

3:39, Panera Bread is currently in work moving into the Peppers location.

Anonymous said...

Peppers was making it, but not crushing it. They had a opportunity to get out clean and took it. Panera wanted to come into Renaissance but Peppers had right of refusal. The owners made a deal with Mattiace - we'll close shop and you can give Panera a higher lease rate.

Anonymous said...

3:39- sweet peppers lease was bought out by Panera Bread. Panera Bread will be opening in the same location. Peppers business was doing fine I am told.

Anonymous said...

Apologies to the chain haters, but I love Panera!! It will do well in that spot.

Anonymous said...

Babalu is entirely overrated.

Anonymous said...

4:27- Appraisal value doesn't mean your home or business will sell at that price. It all depends on location, schools and crime statistics.

Anonymous said...

3:39 here. Thanks for the information. It sounds like a positive outcome for all parties and Panera Bread should be a good addition to the Metro.

I see that the NASDAQ has Panera Bread stock at $182.73...not quite Chipotle (at $619.25) but still good.

Maybe Chipotle would consider opening a location here. Maybe in the former Mint the Restaurant location?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a "chain hater" I just try to give locally owned business first, if possible. I've never eaten at Panera, but I've heard good things about it will likely give it a try. I gave Peppers a try and did not like it. I've also never had Chipotle, but I agree, I would love for them to come because I like their food quality requirements, and if I'm correct, they try to source their food locally (local farmers), which somewhat satisfies my preference for local. ;)

With all of that said, I wish Patrick and Mary success with Julep and any other restaurants they may open, if any. They're good people.

Anonymous said...

Last year it was reported that Red Robin was coming to Madison/ Ridgeland area. Anyone know what happened?

Anonymous said...

Sure miss the Cherokee.......

Anonymous said...

Thanks 5:21. DUH. You learn that in "Hate Jackson 101"? Good Lord.

Anonymous said...

6:17 the demographics didn't match Madison. Too many elitists. Tofu types. Quiche. Salads. Turned away from it.

Anonymous said...

To the Jackson "haters" - have you ever heard of the ripple effect??? You are crazy to let Jackson "die" because people can only move so far away. Jackson born & raised, lived in Jackson and Madison - I support ALL of the areas surrounding our capitol city! Wake up and stop living in your bubbles, get out and help keep Jackson, Ridgeland, Madison, Clinton, Flowood, Pearl, Brandon, Byram, etc ALL healthy and safe so that the "ripple effect" does NOT take us all down. Its common sense regardless of dealing with neighborhoods, restaurants, shopping centers. Work together, not against.

Pinot Gregariouso said...

"Mint was actually pretty unique to the area when it opened, but the menu was stagnant, and the service was average."

Great. Sounds like a good fit for you.

Meanwhile: A restaurant's name, believe it or not, has an effect on traffic. A place named Panera Bread doesn't attract me. Neither did Peppers. Neither did 'Steam Room', which was a horrible name for a restaurant in our area of sweltering heat.

Would you eat at a new place named "Hung Dung"? Even if they reportedly had the best Chinese fare on the planet?

All these trendy places that come and go must be some kind of racket. Surely people would good sense would not keep repeating this debacle over and over.

There are only so many ways to grill a steak, make gravy, form a rice mold and stir up a fancy sauce. Do we need sixteen new places to compete in those categories?

I hear Cowboy Maloney is opening a restaurant against the south wall inside his 55 north location. He started with televisions, then washing machines and beds. Why not fried chicken and eggplant-stack with lump crab sauce? And you can watch him make a commercial while you're there.

And, Two Men And A Truck will open a new location in Renaissance, just to cut down on mileage.

Anonymous said...

All right, bottom line on Jackso Metro kitchens:
1. Trace Grill- best burger easily
2. Sal and Phil's lunch special- gilled fish, grilled squash, brabant spuds, limited but acceptable salad bar, tea - $10 bucks, amazing
3. Country Kitchen - Tougaloo, West Countyline
4. Shapley's
5. Katherine's

<< FALLACY ALERT >> said...


To the Jackson "haters" - have you ever heard of the ripple effect???

Contagion Theory. Disregard. Slippery slope FALLACY.

Anonymous said...

@ 8pm- Duh....who says I was talking about Jackson. Got a case of the "I gots to defend my turf?" Natchez, Meridian, and Carthage are also too far from my work...MORON! Please remember that nobody really cares what happens in Jackson anymore. It's old news and everyone has moved on.....or out.

Anonymous said...

5:58 AM, I'm sure the ownership of both the Panera and Sweet Peppers franchises are very interested to hear your feedback on their chosen names. Maybe you should send them an email.

Anonymous said...

@1:05 Chain restaurants are often much cheaper than local restaurants too so hate all you want, but folks gotta pay bills and can't afford to spend $15-$20 on lunch every time. I do prefer local places but also have to be financially realistic. But way to pat your self on the back for being so remarkable.

@5:20 Completely agree. I've eaten there (Babalu) probably close to a dozen times now and still haven't found anything that worthwhile to eat. I don't get the hype either.

The last two times I ate brunch at Julep, the place was so dirty (floors, bathroom, smell etc) that it was a turn off. Food is still pretty good, but they need to update that place and clean it better. Guess they can't afford that now though.

Anonymous said...

5:58, whatever you do… don’t go to New Orleans.
The names of the places down there will drive you insane.

Kingfish said...

The steak on a stick ( I forget the exact name at Babalu) is really really good. The guacamole made at the table is pretty good as well. I've never had a bad meal at Babalu. Now if the state would quit harassing them, it would be nice.

As for avoiding chains. I'm not going to eat somewhere just because it is local. I find using arguments of local, race, religion, sex, - all pretty much argument to patronize businesses because they are one of us- are worthless. Either the food and service is good or it isn't. If I need to eat somewhere because the owners are one of us, then the restaurant is probably not that good. I've eaten at quite a few crappy restaurants that were "local". Conversely, the last two rotten meals I had at a restaurant were at Madison Lonestar and Flowood Outback. I would love to see Zea's or J Alexanders come to Jackson. Had excellent meals every time I've eaten at either establishment.

Anonymous said...

Hate to see local restauranteurs shut down, but I will also say I never had a meal I liked at Mint. Can't pinpoint it but the menu just was not appealing. We had a gift cert and went and just got drinks and apps as there was nothing on the menu we wanted. The concept was on point, but the food (and service) never delivered.

Julep is better - love their tuna tower and a few other dishes and it has a great vibe. (The chicken salad my waiter recommended last visit was 1/2 cup max of chicken salad on a little lettuce with 1/2 a cherry tomato - disappointing.) Some of their food is really good though. They also have a nice area you can use for larger parties. Hope they can keep that location working. Julep has a really unique thing going on and if they can perfect the menu, they should be fine.

Anonymous said...

"Sal and Phil's lunch special- gilled fish, "

I thought gills were kind of standard issue with fish. Does everyone other place serve some rare species of fish without gills?

Kingfish said...

I've eaten there (Babalu) probably close to a dozen times now and still haven't found anything that worthwhile to eat. I don't get the hype either.

Try the steak on skewers.

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