DMN’s Eats Blog reports old Jack’s Backyard spot to become restaurant complex

Over on DMN’s Eats Blog, Kim Pierce reported that the guys behind Bolsa, Smoke and Bar Belmont in Oak Cliff have their sights set on the old Jack’s Backyard spot. The nightspot, which was owned by Kathy Jack, abruptly closed earlier this year amid controversy to the dismay of may gay patrons who partook in drink and live music. Now, according to Pierce, Christopher Jeffers and Smoke exec chef Tim Byres look to turn the venue’s spot — heck, the whole block — into a bar/restaurant complex. From DMN’s Eats Blog.

Christopher Jeffers‘ baby is the Chicken Scratch-Foundry complex that’s going to be another amazing addition to North Oak Cliff. It’s not just a bar (factory-themed Foundry) tied into a restaurant (family-friendly Chicken Scratch), it’s a whole city block, whose shambling structures date to the 1920s. He took me on a tour to show me the vision.

One of the main buildings, where Jack’s Backyard was cloistered on Pittman at Commerce, will house The Foundry, which will be the first of the complex to open January-ish.

Like Pierce said in her piece, ambitious plans. Indeed.

—  Rich Lopez

Owner Kathy Jack issues statement saying she’s ‘truly sorry’ for closure of Jack’s Backyard

This morning we received a statement from Kathy Jack, owner of Jack’s Backyard, regarding the recent closure of the lesbian-oriented Oak Cliff bar and grill. The statement, sent over by Kris Martin of Kris Martin Public Relations & Marketing, was apparently issued in response to our post detailing creditor Marla Custard’s side of the story earlier this week. As we said in the post, we tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with Jack.

In Jack’s statement, which we’ve posted in its entirety after the jump, she says she is “truly sorry that this happened” but adds, “There is so much misinformation and so many rumors.” Jack goes on to say that she never paid herself a salary during the 2½ years the venue was open, and that she believes she could have repaid her debts if she had been given the opportunity.

Here’s the full statement:

—  Rich Lopez

Financial troubles led to closure of Jack’s

Jack’s Backyard owner Kathy Jack has not returned calls from Dallas Voice about the venue’s abrupt closing 10 days ago. But Marla Custard, one of the property owners, alerted us to some of the details behind the closure.

According to court records, Jack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 16, 2010, for the business, Jack Out of the Box LLC. Documents show the business owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to investors including Custard, as well as the IRS, the state comptroller’s office and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Considering that business seemed to be good at Jack’s Backyard, Custard said she’s still unclear about why the bills weren’t being paid.

Days before the club’s final Sunday on June 26, a judge dismissed the bankruptcy filing, saying the numbers didn’t add up in Jack’s plan to get out of the debt.

“That’s when it became clear Jack’s Backyard would have to close,” Custard said. Custard is one of about 15 people listed as creditors who invested in the venue, including recognizable names in the LGBT community such as Howard Okon, Laura McFerrin and Matt Miller.

Custard said she’s personally out more than $600,000, between her investment in the bar and loss of rent payments.

“We love this place,” Custard said. “I’m so mad at her [Jack] for this. It’s heartbreaking, but at the end of the day, it all rests in Kathy’s lap.”

The landowners are now looking for a new tenant.

In an email to the Dallas Voice, Custard forwarded documents from the case and gave us her breakdown of the events that transpired before the closing. Read a portion of her email after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Jack’s Backyard kinda finds a home at Woody’s

Although it’s hardly a backyard, Jack’s is setting up shop in Woody’s. The JB peeps posted on their Facebook that their first day as Jack’s Back Patio is this Saturday and that the originally scheduled band, Ciao Bella, will perform. Not bad for a quick turnaround. By the sounds of it, even former JB employees will be helping out with the drinks.

We have calls to both JB owner Kathy Jack and investor/property owner Marla Custard about what exactly transpired before the club’s closing on Sunday. But it looks like Jack’s fans can still get a little bit of the backyard action for now.

—  Rich Lopez