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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The owners of John E's Restaurant say their restaurant closed because of the economy, tough competition, ongoing maintenance issues, and finances. All those, they say, were factors leading up to the closure on Feb. 1.
Paper signs posted on the doors of the restaurant, located at 3708 Bardstown Road near the Buechel Bypass, read simply: "GONE OUT OF BUSINESS." Tomorrow afternoon, there will be an auction for items inside the restaurant.
In a handwritten letter, Donnie, Ronnie, and Dee Kamenish and Bob Young had this to say about the abrupt closing: "The closing of John E's Restaurant and Lounge was not something we ever thought we would have to do. We put every ounce of energy, blood, sweat and tears into a dream, only to have that dream shattered."
Restaurant employees tell WDRB News, they still haven't received their last paycheck. The owners have not said when the employees will be paid.
The auction will include everything from framed artwork to flatware to advertising. It's set to begin at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12. The public can view the items at 11:30am Tuesday.
Even a leg lamp is for sale. Billy Collins Jr with the Collins Auction Company says, "The leather horses usually go very well. at most of the antique auctions, they usually do pretty well."
Glassware, pots and all the kitchen utensils you can think of are up for grabs. Business owners are coming by to see what they can bid on. Jerry Green of Jerry Green and Friends Nightclub says, "They have glassware and other things like that, that I can use in my club."
Collins says, "I know they have to be out by a certain date, I think that date is right around the corner. That's why we moved quickly when they called us."
Collins says, "Some of the restaurant equipment will be the higher priced auctions and the memorabilia, some of the signed stuff, you really can't put an estimate on. It matters who shows up and who bids on it."
All of these items are expected to be sold in about five hours. Only cash and checks will be accepted.