The company that owns the iconic Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles has filed for bankruptcy, citing a multimillion debt to a former employee as one of its largest debts.
East Coast Foods Inc. filed for Chapter 11 this week, and claimed it owed more than $3 million to Daniel Beasley, who said in a lawsuit he was the victim of sexual harassment and racial discrimination while an employee of the restaurant chain.
The only larger debt listed in the filings was to a La Canada Flintridge investment management firm, with an estimate topping $4 million.
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It is not immediately clear if the bankruptcy threatens the future of Roscoe’s seven restaurants in Southern California, including Hollywood, Long Beach, Pasadena, West LA, Inglewood, Los Angeles and Anaheim.
Founded by Harlem native Herb Hudson, Roscoe’s has been around for more than 40 years and has long been a Los Angeles institution and a soul food favorite of celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Cindy Crawford and Morgan Freeman.
President Barack Obama even made an unscheduled stop at the Pico Boulevard location in between fundraisers during a 2011 visit.
According to the bankruptcy filing documents, East Coast Foods estimates that it has less than $50,000 in assets and between $10 and $50 million in debts.
NBC4 has reached out to East Coast Foods and Beasley’s attorney for comment.