Bobby's Bar-B-Que to stay in family

Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 1:40 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 2:52 AM
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AIKEN - The Griffin family breathed a sigh of relief once the auction gavel dropped at their popular Bobby's Bar-B-Que restaurant Friday.

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Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Auctioneer Dennis Cheeks takes bids at Bobby’s Bar-B-Que Buffet. The winning bid for the lot of restaurant equipment was from Bobby Griffin Jr.

Bobby Griffin Jr. bid $60,500 for the cooking equipment, catering trucks and gift shop items that were up for auction to pay creditors.

Griffin said he can now guarantee that the restaurant will open Wednesday. He will take over the business from his mother, Barbara Griffin, who has owned it since her husband, Bobby Griffin Sr., died in 2008.

"This will make things easier," he said. "We will open on the 24th at the same capacity, with the same good food."

The auction was a part of a restructuring plan under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Barbara Griffin said after the auction.

A judge approved the reorganization plan Jan. 7, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The judge ordered Griffin to sell all real property of the restaurant through a one-lot auction to settle a tax lien imposed by the state Department of Revenue. In the original Chapter 11 filing, the restaurant owed the department more than $362,000.

The auction of the property, which had been appraised at $35,184, will now settle the debt and lift the tax lien. All net proceeds from the auction, minus sales agent, advertising and other costs, will be paid to the Department of Revenue.

A judge will enter a final decree on the case March 7.

Griffin filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the business in June after being overwhelmed by estate tax and legal costs she accrued after her husband's death.

The agency also claimed the business owed sales tax, she said, but "they never proved it."

"I'm just so thankful it's over," she said. "We appreciate all our customers, because we could not have done it without them and the help of the Lord."

About 75 people attended the auction at the restaurant on Jefferson Davis Highway this morning, said auctioneer Dennis Cheeks. Several of those in attendance, including bidders from North Carolina and Tennessee, offered competitive bids, he said.

The family ultimately was able to keep the business and the contents of the business collected over the past 25 years in the family, Bobby Griffin Jr. said.

"We just hope our customer family will come back and see us next week," he said.

Mel Minitor said he was glad his favorite barbecue restaurant would stay in business. The Burnettown man said he has eaten there for 22 years.

"Until my dad's health failed, we would come here almost every Friday and eat with Bobby (Griffin Sr.). They made everybody feel welcome ," Minitor said. "This place is an institution. I put this barbecue against anybody's anywhere."

Comments (43) Add comment
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Chief_Broom
21
Points
Chief_Broom 02/19/10 - 03:05 pm
0
0
I'll be there, if not during

I'll be there, if not during the week then definitely after church on Sunday! Way to go Bobby Jr.!

Newsreader
11
Points
Newsreader 02/19/10 - 03:18 pm
0
0
Great Job, beat the tax man

Great Job, beat the tax man and keep the business going. I sure hope that all the other creditors will get a share of the auction proceeds.

storiesihaveread
332
Points
storiesihaveread 02/19/10 - 03:52 pm
0
0
Congrats and goodluck in the

Congrats and goodluck in the future, you have great BBQ keep on cooking

sliique
0
Points
sliique 02/19/10 - 04:22 pm
0
0
"Good food?" Yeah, right.

"Good food?" Yeah, right. WARM potato salad is their claim to fame.

csrareader
1283
Points
csrareader 02/19/10 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Good news... what a shame

Good news... what a shame that a man works hard building up a business and when he passes away, the Government estate taxes come within a hair of shutting the business down. Glad to see that the BBQ will live on.

themaninthemirror
0
Points
themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 04:26 pm
0
0
Bobby's is the best BBQ

Bobby's is the best BBQ restaraunt around. The fact that they serve their BBQ buffet style means you can eat until you have to crawl out the door. Congratulations Bobby Jr. I look forward to dining with you all soon!

Fiat_Lux
14787
Points
Fiat_Lux 02/19/10 - 04:36 pm
0
0
Best wishes for every success

Best wishes for every success to this great family business. American survives and prospers because of people like these, especially when they can keep the government at bay. Congratulations on your fortitude.

willienelson
5
Points
willienelson 02/19/10 - 05:08 pm
0
0
So what happened to the

So what happened to the $362,000 owed to the SC Dept of Revenue?

devgru1
0
Points
devgru1 02/19/10 - 05:44 pm
0
0
Has anyone ever noticed that

Has anyone ever noticed that there is always "one" in the bunch?

Brad Owens
4098
Points
Brad Owens 02/19/10 - 05:55 pm
0
0
Estate taxes? Bobby's is

Estate taxes? Bobby's is awesome. Next time I am in town I intend to be sure to eat at least one meal there and let them know how glad I am they are OK. taxes putting a place like that out fo business, the government sucks.

govols382
0
Points
govols382 02/19/10 - 06:22 pm
0
0
Some of the worst BBQ in

Some of the worst BBQ in town! I guess I'll be "number two in the bunch" and stick with the BBQ Barn!!!

Bigdawg62
75
Points
Bigdawg62 02/19/10 - 06:28 pm
0
0
Congratulations to the

Congratulations to the family. I love their bbq and will have them cater a dinner for my business next week.

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 02/19/10 - 06:36 pm
0
0
I love warm potato salad my

I love warm potato salad my wife makes it every sunday we also love sweet tea round here.

the kid
0
Points
the kid 02/19/10 - 06:37 pm
0
0
food is not good like it was

food is not good like it was when bobby sr.was living . we only go to dukes bbq now.

humbleopinion
0
Points
humbleopinion 02/19/10 - 07:49 pm
0
0
Glad they will reopen. No,

Glad they will reopen. No, it's not the best food in town, but the value is great and the people were always friendly. We've always loved them having the ribs on the buffet and the chicken and dumplings are great. We'll be back next week!

peebhvac
8
Points
peebhvac 02/20/10 - 07:26 am
0
0
This is why we need to do

This is why we need to do away with estate taxes. This man built this business and when he passed the govt. try's to take it from the family. Next time I'm through I will be stopping in to eat. Good Luck to the Griffin family.

nofrills
0
Points
nofrills 02/20/10 - 07:36 am
0
0
Bobby"s BBQ has been around

Bobby"s BBQ has been around for years with the same people visiting it when Sr. was around but the food is at best fair. I am glad its staying open but again it was just a cheap trick to cheat the taxpayers out of money that is due. I guess the taxpayers get to eat this one to!

reader54
130
Points
reader54 02/20/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
The property was appraised at

The property was appraised at $35,000 and Bobby Jr. bids $60,500. Somebody help me understand!

FAIR TAX Now
16
Points
FAIR TAX Now 02/20/10 - 08:28 am
0
0
This is what a liberal

This is what a liberal government gives you. Oh estate taxes is just a way to make sure we have redistribution of wealth. No it causes a small business family to almost have to lose the business they have invested their life into building in order to pay the taxes. People we must stop the liberals this Nov. or you will see more of this. A man should be able to make whatever he can in life and never have to worry about the government taking it from him. FAIR TAX fixes all of this.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 02/20/10 - 08:48 am
0
0
LOL at those who have

LOL at those who have unflattering things to say about this family and it's business........sounds like envy to me.

ConcernedTaxpayer
28
Points
ConcernedTaxpayer 02/20/10 - 08:52 am
0
0
I'm in total agreement with

I'm in total agreement with you Fair Tax Now. People work hard to leave a legacy and nest egg for their family, and the tax man comes and takes it away when they pass on. Disgusting!

curly123053
4188
Points
curly123053 02/20/10 - 09:07 am
0
0
It is about time for the

It is about time for the FAIRTAX !! There is a SC version of the FairTax in the SC State Legislature now. Contact your SC State Rep or Senator and ask them to support the SC FairTax Amendment.

EasyABC
0
Points
EasyABC 02/20/10 - 09:14 am
0
0
RIP Mr. Bobby, Your legacy

RIP Mr. Bobby, Your legacy lives on.

truthteller
0
Points
truthteller 02/20/10 - 09:15 am
0
0
Wake up Fair Tax proponents.

Wake up Fair Tax proponents. Did you not read that the $362,000 was owed to the STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, which is hardly the home of liberal government. The so-called Fair Tax, a proposed replacement for federal taxes, would not have stopped any of this.

reader54
130
Points
reader54 02/20/10 - 09:17 am
0
0
Fair Tax: Uh, the estate tax

Fair Tax: Uh, the estate tax began in 1916. In the 2009 tax year, $3,500,000 for an individual is exempt from estate taxes. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, two of the wealthiest people in the world, are for the estate tax. This is not an issue of Dems. vs. Repubs., liberal vs. conser. That said, I don't believe that there is any doubt that the current tax system should be thrown out entirely and re-structured.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 02/20/10 - 09:54 am
0
0
do away with all tax and just

do away with all tax and just have a national sales tax. It would spur the economy like nothing before. It gets rid of losing taxes from illegal acitivity that now avoids taxes. Lets you keep all you make. Everyone is treated the same. No more spending hours getting ready for April 15th. Huge reduction in paperwork required to open and run a business. The list could go on and on. We would be amazed at how low that percentage would be that you would pay just because of reduced overhead in business and government. It would eliminate some jobs but then those people could do something that actually produces something rather than pushing paper around. Everything you buy would be cheaper.

Boston93
117
Points
Boston93 02/20/10 - 10:01 am
0
0
Reader 54. You wouldn't

Reader 54. You wouldn't undrstand.

Boston93
117
Points
Boston93 02/20/10 - 10:03 am
0
0
I'm a Sconyers BBQ person,

I'm a Sconyers BBQ person, but again they do not serve veggies, etc. like Bobby's and I've eaten at both many times. Both are super and it depends on what you want at the time you want BBQ.

corgimom
27366
Points
corgimom 02/20/10 - 10:04 am
0
0
Reader. In a tax lien sale,

Reader. In a tax lien sale, the bid starts at appraised value. A group of people bid on it. The appraised value is what it is worth, based on age and condition (depreciated value). However, many people are willing to pay more than it is worth, because they think it's worth more than appraised value. If he had to go out and buy all of that new, it would cost way more than $60,000. Everybody's happy.

reader54
130
Points
reader54 02/20/10 - 10:11 am
0
0
Corgi: Thanks, but I would

Corgi: Thanks, but I would think that the creditors would get a fair appraisal and paying twice that amount confuses me. Oh well, not the first time. Again, thanks.

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