UPDATE: Director of Marketing for Billy Bob’s sent CBS11 the following statement: There are few entertainment venues more iconic than Billy Bob’s Texas. For more than 35 years Billy Bob’s has served up a memorable time for our guests, and maintained strong relationships with our employees, performers, vendors and the entire community.
We want to assure everyone that the legal dispute currently in the news will in no way interfere with the great Billy Bob’s experience or the future stability of this proud Texas institution. This is a disagreement between longtime friends and partners, and will get straightened out soon.
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A family power struggle has lead to court and could decide the fate of an iconic Fort Worth nightclub.
The president of Billy Bob’s is asking a judge to protect his job or force a sale of the night club.
Court documents show a series of business rifts between majority ownership of the club, including long-time owner Billy Minick and minority owners and the nightclub’s president Concho Minick, Billy’s son.
“If there is a problem with Billy Bob’s that is going to affect everybody down here in the stockyards,” said Ed Robleski, manager of Riscky’s Steakhouse.
Billy Bob’s draw tourists even on a weekday afternoon when there’s not a band playing.
“My daughter is a huge country western music fan and she goes to line dancing places in California so we thought we’d have to go check out Billy Bob’s,” said Liz Culley who’s visiting from the San Francisco area. “We are going to go there tonight but we thought we go ahead and scope it out before tonight.”
So, why is there a lawsuit threatening to have a judge force the sale of the nightclub?
Concho said his dad and majority owners are trying to force him to resign. One of causes for the friction is a difference of opinions about planned development around the historic Stockyards
The lawsuit reads in part: “Differences between the members, which largely stemmed from personal disagreements over the future development of the Fort Worth Stockyards, began to cause significant problems.”
One of the majority owners is heavily invested in that development.
Concho wants a judge to either protect his job and clarify the legal constraints of the ownership operating agreement or order the nightclub sold.
But Billy Minick’s lawyer filed a motion claiming the civil suit is part of a power grab claiming, “…Concho has long desired to appropriate ownership of Billy Bob’s and turn it into a multi-franchise, worldwide company.”
The motion also claims Texas civil courts don’t have jurisdiction in deciding whether the majority of owners of Billy Bob’s can make management changes.
Business owners in the stockyards said if the family power struggle closes Billy Bob’s it would have an economic effect even past the stockyard fences.
“I’m sure it affects downtown to because of so much going on downtown people go downtown experience Sundance Square before they go to Billy Bob’s, too I’m sure,” Robleski said.
The judge will make a ruling on the court’s legal authority in the conflict July 7 and if the court intervenes it could decide the case July 21.