Bill Johnson’s Big Apple
Calls On Public For Support
Iconic Valley Restaurant Group Heads For Bankruptcy Proceeding Tuesday Amid Family Squabble
The Bill Johnson's Big Apple sign at the original location on Van Buren street. Image by Eric Steuer and used under the terms of a Creative Commons license.
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Jan. 31, 2012 — Sherry Cameron, CEO of legendary Valley restaurant chain, Bill Johnson's Big Apple, has issued a call for customers and fans to support the restaurant at a bankruptcy hearing today in Phoenix.
According to the statement by Cameron, she has taken the company that operates all five of the restaurant's locations into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to maintain their viability. According to Cameron, some members of the family of Bill Johnson, who founded the first restaurant at 3757 E. Van Buren Street in the 1950s, are determined to have all five locations go into Chapter 7 bankruptcy which would lead to liquidation of the equipment and property.
“Some of my relatives have petitioned the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge who's hearing our case to convert it to Chapter 7 (that’s liquidation). This is a petulant and self-destructive move, one that will eliminate hundreds of jobs, and it shows you the sort of destructive nonsense I've been dealing with,” Cameron said in a statement. “I can't forget that are real people and real families who depend on those jobs. We’re talking about a devastating blow to hundreds of people, many of them folks who have been with my family for decades. It's simply unthinkable to me a court would act on this motion and shut down five going concerns and throw that many people out of work in this economy. And that's not to mention the hurt to their families, our suppliers, our loyal customers, and on and on. Our hearing is this Tuesday. Will you come and show your support? We want the judge to see that this is a real business, with real lives at stake.”
The hearing will be held today, Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. in courtroom 701, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 230 N. 1st Ave., Phoenix.
Bill Johnson — known as one of the first “shock-jocks” — is one of the most famous figures from Arizona’s past since he opened his restaurant on the eastern outskirts of Phoenix. He was a common fixture on local television and radio.
Since his passing in 1968, Bill Johnson’s daughter, Dena, ran the restaurants until 2009 when Sherry Cameron took over. The younger Cameron is a graduate of the Thunderbird, the School of Global Management.
For more information, visit http://www.billjohnsons.com.