loganroadhouse

The Logan’s Roadhouse steakhouse chain has been hurt by depressed restaurant sales and reduced customer traffic.

Logan’s Roadhouse photo

Logan’s Roadhouse in Central Texas Marketplace has escaped the ax, with a spokesman confirming Saturday it would not close as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing the Tennessee-based restaurant chain announced last week.

Logan’s had said 18 underperforming locations around the country would be shuttered.

“We can confirm that there are no locations impacted in the (Waco) area,” Brad Jacobus, vice president of marketing, said in an email.

In other restaurant news related to the marketplace, West Loop 340 and Interstate 35, Waco attorney and businessman Dan McReynolds confirmed he has received the development rights for La Madeleine Country French Cafe in Colorado and in Waco and Tyler, and hopes to open La Madeleine in the marketplace by March 2017.

He said he has been joined by another Waco businessman, Gordon Robinson, in the pursuit of placing the upscale dining establishment in Waco and Tyler. He said they are collaborating to develop a strip center behind the La-Z-Boy furniture store near West Loop 340 and have a 145-seat, wood-and-stone La Madeleine anchor it.

“We also want to have a progressive, fast-casual restaurant there with fun food offerings,” McReynolds said. “And we’ll even have room for more occupants.”

La Madeleine will operate near the vacant Twin Peaks building, the scene of a shootout between motorcycle bikers and law enforcement in May 2015 that left nine bikers dead and created headlines nationwide. The Twin Peaks franchisee had his license pulled by corporate headquarters, and the 7,869-square-foot building remains for sale.

Also nearby is Waco’s Logan’s Roadhouse, part of a 260-restaurant chain that serves steaks and Southern-inspired entrees in a laid-back setting.

The company posted $605 million in revenue last year and a loss of $112 million before earnings, interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, including one-time restructuring charges, according to a statement it released in conjunction with the bankruptcy filing.

It blamed financial struggles on “pressure” being placed on the discretionary income of customers, “correlating to depressed restaurant sales and reduced customer traffic.” Logan’s said in a statement that its CEO, Sam Borgese, would leave the company, but it did not name an immediate replacement.

Founded in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1991, the company went public in 1995 and was sold to the Cracker Barrel chain in 1999.

LRI Holdings bought the company in 2006, and LRI currently is controlled by Kelso & Co., a private equity financing firm based in New York City.

Meanwhile, La Madeleine is part of Groupe Le Duff, a Franch restaurant conglomerate with holdings in Europe and America, consisting of more than 1,300 restaurants and bakeries. Besides La Madeleine, brand names include Kamps, Mimi’s Cafe, Pizza Del Arte, Timothy’s World Coffee, Bruegger’s and Brioche Doree.

The company was founded in 1976 by Louis Le Duff, whose son, Philippe Le Duff, lives in Dallas and has become friends with McReynolds.

Le Duff was in Waco this weekend to compete in the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon in Cameron Park, and spent some time with McReynolds and his family.

“I fell in love with Waco last year,” Le Duff said. “I think it’s just the right size between city and countryside. And Cameron Park is a place where you can run and ride your mountain bike for hours. The Off-Road Triathlon there is one of the hardest and longest, but also the most beautiful.”

He said he moved to the United States to get a feel for its culture and tastes, since it has become such an important part of his family’s enterprise.

“We have about 100 La Madeleine locations, with the heaviest concentration in Dallas but others in Houston and San Antonio,” he said. “We are focused on franchise development and hope to open 20 new locations every year. We would like to have a master franchisee for every state.”

He said the company strives to keep La Madeleine locations “very cozy” and decorated with natural materials to create a “country French charm.”

“We have some big ones around the country, as well as small ones,” he said. “The one in the Phoenix airport is only 1,500 square feet.”

Entrees are prepared from scratch using the freshest ingredients and with “field-to-plate authenticity,” he added.

“Philippe was the first person to open an all-organic restaurant in France, and besides that, he’s a great athlete,” McReynolds said.

Elsewhere in Central Texas Marketplace, construction continues on a Buffalo Wild Wings location, and hiring has begun for Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom.

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