Chicken George chain files to dissolve business


The final chapter in the Chicken George fast-food chain saga appears to have been written by its president, Meldon S. Hollis Jr., who has moved to dissolve the business under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The filing for Chicken George of Maryland Inc. was made Tuesday by Mr. Hollis, a lawyer and a former city school board president.

A secretary at Mr. Hollis' Baltimore law office said that the attorney was in Washington yesterday afternoon and unavailable for comment.

Mr. Hollis took control of the chain in January 1989, purchasing it from Jerry Hill, a Baltimore businessman. Mr. Hill had purchased the four-restaurant business for $210,000 in a 1987 bankruptcy sale.

Chicken George was founded in 1979 by Theodore N. Holmes. He built it into the largest black-owned fast-food company in the country, with company-owned outlets in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington and franchises in Los Angeles, Atlanta and in the mid-Atlantic states. But the chain ran into financial difficulties in 1986.

After becoming its chief executive, Mr. Hollis had ambitious plans to pump capital and fresh partners into Chicken George. He said at the time: "This is the kind of stuff that should have been done a year ago."

In court documents filed Tuesday, Chicken George listed less than $50,000 in assets and more than $500,000 in liabilities. It said that it owed $90,000 to the Internal Revenue Service, $45,859 to the state Comptroller of the Treasury and $10,000 to Semmes, Bowen and Semmes, a Baltimore law firm for which Mr. Hollis formerly worked.

On Sept. 12, Mr. Hollis filed for personal bankruptcy.

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