The owners of Wholly Cow, which closed the doors at its Radford Hill Shopping Center location last fall, are facing a lawsuit filed by its financiers.
Western Bank of Lubbock sued Wholly Cow Burgers Abilene South LLC over an unpaid debt of $29,315.12. Wholly Cow closed in late March after not opening some days and early closings throughout the beginning of the year, said former employees. At the same time, the company’s south Abilene location, which had been converted from a Wholly Cow restaurant to a Wing Machine restaurant, closed about the same time.
In July 2016, Wholly Cow received a commercial loan of $30,000 from Western Bank with a 6.75% interest rate. According to court documents, Western Bank sent a notice of default letter to the Wholly Cow holding company on Jan. 20, 2017, claiming the monthly payment had not been made. The company owed to Western bank $725.00 per month to be paid over 47 months, according to the lawsuit.
Western Bank filed a commercial debt lawsuit in Texas’ 42nd District Court against Wholly Cow on Feb. 20, 2017, claiming to have received no response to the notice of default letter, according to the lawsuit. A month later, on March 22, a sign was posted on the doors of Wholly Cow stating that the store would be closed “until further notice.”
Wholly Cow owner Andy Nuncio, who was also named in the suit, could not be reached for comment, and the Taylor County Court records did not list an attorney for Nuncio or the Wholly Cow corporation. Michael Rodriguez, former manager of the restaurant, would not comment on the record.
Wholly Cow employed many ACU students during its five years of operation.
Tabitha Culpepper, an employee for a year and half and a 2015 graduate, said that she started to experience shorter shifts and was not being scheduled as much. She finally made the decision to quit because she was not making enough money.
Lauryn Westbrook, another employee who experienced shorter shifts and reduced hours in the final months of the restaurant’s operation, said she understood tips from the cash register tip jar were intended to be used for monthly meetings and employee-of-the-month honors.
“In the seven months I worked there,” Westbrook, “we never had an employee of the month or monthly meetings.”
A Lubbock attorney representing Western Bank, John Shanklin, said the restaurant owners to date have not responded to the lawsuit.
In general, if a defendant fails to respond to a court citation in a consumer debt lawsuit, the plaintiff will ask the court to enter a default judgement against the defendant, though Western Bank’s lawyers have not done so.
“As to why they closed, if you can’t pay your debts, you’re going to be closed,” said Shanklin of Lubbock’s McCleskey, Harriger, Brazill & Graf LLP.
According to the Taylor County Appraisal District, the south location owed $2,513.48 to Taylor County in unpaid property taxes.