CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In the end, fried pickles may not have been enough to save it.
The Penguin Drive-In, a restaurant that’s been open in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood for decades, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday in federal court. A list of creditors shows thousands of dollars owed to utility companies, tax collectors, lawyers and others.
The filing shows assets of less than $50,000, and liabilities of between $100,000 and $500,000, the largest being a $140,000 debt to the Internal Revenue Service.
The landlord sued the restaurant last month, saying it hadn’t paid up on its rent and a loan. That case was set to be in court November 13.
The late Jim Ballentine bought what had been an ice cream shop on Commonwealth Avenue in 1954 and turned it into a burger joint.
In August 2000, the Ballentine family leased the property to new managers, who kept the Penguin name. The restaurant became wildly popular before the managers’ lease controversially wasn’t renewed in 2010.
The Penguin was recently featured in the movie Bad Grandpa.