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Steak Escape, Johnny Rockets franchisee files for Ch. 11

GREENWOOD VILLAGE Colo. David Giesen, a franchisee within the Steak Escape and Johnny Rockets systems, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The operating companies Giesen Restaurant Enterprises LLC and Rocket Restaurant Ventures LLC filed to restructure debt, which tallied between $1 million and $10 million, according to filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. The company estimated its assets at less than $100,000.

Giesen could not be reached for comment. It was unclear at press time how many restaurants would be affected by the bankruptcy filing.

According to news reports, Giesen had partnered in 2000 with Charlie Monfort, a part owner of the Colorado Rockies and a member of the Monfort meat-packing family, to open about 100 Steak Escape units in Colorado and California over 10 years. At the time, Giesen owned a half-dozen Steak Escapes in the Denver area. He also opened Johnny Rockets restaurants in the area. In 2003, his company reportedly closed roughly a dozen Steak Escapes nationwide, including several in Colorado.

Court documents showed Rocket Restaurants owing $880,000 to Monfort Capital LLC of Eaton. Other creditors include shopping mall owners Taubman Cherry Creek and Rouse Park Meadows, as well as Robinson Dairy of Denver.

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