After a mere three months, the financial arrangement surrounding Snuffer's between restaurateurs Mike Karns, of Firebird Restaurant Group, and Pat Snuffer has come to its tragic end. Karns will walk away with six suburban Snuffer's, but Pat Snuffer will keep the original branch at 3526 Greenville Ave.
The two restaurateurs announced the severance in a pair of press releases hastily issued within five minutes of each other, which emphasized the outcome differently.
Karns announced that his takeover was to keep the concept afloat; Snuffer cheerily announced a new concept named after himself.
Snuffer's decline began in March 2013 when the company filed for bankruptcy. Karns intervened in July to rescue Snuffer's with a financial stake, by taking over its bank note and thereby becoming the company's new lender.
But apparently Snuffer continued to not pay his bills.
In a November 21 release (at 5:53 pm), Karns announced that the bankruptcy court ruled that Firebird could take over Snuffer's six locations. "Had the note been held in the hands of the previous lender and there was a foreclosure, the brand could have faced a liquidation and complete closure. It is Firebird's desire to protect the Snuffer’s brand and ensure that it not only survives, but thrives," Karns' release read.
On the same day, at 5:49 pm — beating Karns' release by four minutes — Pat Snuffer sent out one of his own, announcing that Snuffer's Restaurants Inc. had "ceased operations" with the launch of a new "individually owned and operated restaurant" concept with his son Mike, called Pat's Burger & Cheddar Fries.
"The new concept will be a casual neighborhood spot offering traditional burger joint fare," said the release, with an opening date described as "soon."
Snuffer knocked the building down in April to initiate a total rebuild. The exterior is complete. The restaurant's Facebook page originally forecast the reopening as Thanksgiving. But a construction worker onsite predicted that the opening would not take place for another month or two.