Word over the weekend that Bako’s Mexican restaurant had shut down after less than three months initially appeared to have been inaccurate. On Tuesday morning, Richard Dunbar, one of Gabe Bako’s partners in the new venture, told the INDsider that the Mexican eatery was forced to close temporarily to repair a drainage problem. “We’re doing some construction work; we have to make some repairs,” Dunbar said. “We’ve got some drainage issues, and you can’t serve food while you’re doing plumbing work.”
A sign (which has since been removed) was posted on the door Tuesday morning, telling customers the restaurant was closed for repairs and would be serving them again soon. At that time Dunbar said it was too soon to know how long the repairs would take.
But if that's the case, why would Dunbar and Bako have told the employees Saturday night that the restaurant was shutting down for financial reasons? A former manager, who asked not to be identified, called early this afternoon to set the record straight. "They said, 'It's not going to work. We're going to give up,'" the ex-employee says.
The employees who were let go were furious when they read Dunbar's comments about why the restaurant had closed (Bako did not return a phone call for the Tuesday story). "They can't man up," the worker says. "It's certainly not reopening."
The former manager says more than 50 people are now out of work. Business was slow, the manager says, and Bako's was struggling just to make the rent.
Neither Dunbar nor Bako returned phone calls and text messages this morning. A champagne-colored Chevy Tahoe was parked in the back of the restaurant about 10 a.m., but no one answered the back door.
Former employees are seeking jobs elsewhere, also telling potential employers the INDsider spoke with that Bako’s has shut down permanently.
Serranos Salso Company, which still has the lease on the Johnston Street building after an unsucccessful run in Lafayette, subleased to Bako last year. One of Serranos' owners, attorney David Halpern of New Orleans, could not be reached for comment, and a voice message left at the corporate office was not immediately returned.
The shuttering of Bako's, which opened Nov. 1, could be a record for Lafayette’s most short-lived but highly anticipated restaurant venture.
A split last year with La Fonda founder Leebob Cox’s children, Stephanie Cox Gagnard and Sherwood Cox, led longtime general manager and part-owner Bako to sell his interest in La Fonda and strike out on his own. Bako partnered with La Fonda’s former kitchen manager, Dunbar, and Sylvia Lopez in the new restaurant.
The former Bako's manager believes Gabe Bako went into business for all the wrong reasons. "You can't open a business out of revenge," the manager says.
Read more about the bitter split between Bako and Leebob's children here.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 1,961 from the previous week's total of 2,237. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,190 claims.
Hurry, rush to Jersey’s Daiquiris Sports Bar in Broussard for a cold one because at noon tomorrow its license is suspended for two months by the state!
The feds say Donald Domingues reported $259,725 as income and paid $64,909 in taxes but he allegedly failed to mention a $351,000 sales commission, which would have bumped his income up to just over $610,000 and his tax liability to $186,000.
Year-to-date sales are outpacing 2013 by 4.7 percent.
“The connector is a crucial part of the larger I-49 South project from Lafayette to New Orleans that would convert U.S. 90 into an interstate-quality roadway.” — U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu
Despite what was said at a coastal forum in New Orleans last month, oil and gas insiders contend a settlement is not in the stars for the massive lawsuit filed against nearly 100 energy companies by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.
Environmentalists, fishermen and others are celebrating a federal judge's ruling that could mean $18 billion in additional fines for BP over the nation's worst oil spill.
St. Louis-based Perficient Inc. says it will establish a software development center in Louisiana that is expected to create 245 jobs.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling Thursday could nearly quadruple the amount of civil penalties for polluting the Gulf of Mexico with oil from BP's Macondo well in 2010.
Co-founder Ryan Trahan goes solo to keep it local.
Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Newly established honor recognizes outstanding local attorneys; Neuner and McGoffin win President's Award; and Blanchard named Outstanding Young Lawyer.
Daily paper constructing new digs near production plant on Rieger Road at Siegen Lane, near I-10.
Investigation finds Arnaud’s Furniture, Carroll Building Specialties and Crazy Charlie’s Shoes running misleading going-out-of-business sales.
Critics say workers and retirees are being held responsible for the Jindal administration's mismanagement of their program.
Potenza Marketing makes fastest-growing companies list.
Local 101 class Friday
“Byzantine” is the word members of the nominating committee for the local flood protection authority often use to describe the complicated, multi-layered matrix of qualifications that must be met to fill a vacancy on that board.
In the Pelican State, Benjamin Franklin buys you about $109 worth of stuff.
Brittan Bush joins Liskow & Lewis, Blake David installed as the Third District Member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s board of governors, and Simien & Miniex announces 2014 scholarship winners.