Home Plate closes after 4-month run

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Home Plate restaurant, which opened in December, closed this week. — Herald file photo

Home Plate, the restaurant that opened in December 2011 by the previous owners of Jerry’s Other Place, is now closed.

Julie and Scott Johnson told employees via letter on Easter Sunday that Home Plate was closing immediately. Julie opened Home Plate last December, a month after Scott closed Jerry’s Other Place.

“Today is the last day Home Plate will be open,” Julie wrote in the letter, a copy of which the Daily Herald obtained Monday. “We keep struggling and trying to stay open but we’re going deeper and deeper and we have to put an end to it immediately.”

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The Johnsons told employees the company’s bank accounts were overdrawn and all of the pay from Julie’s job had gone back into the restaurant. The owners claim their personal bills had not been paid in months, according to the letter, and they were only bringing in $170-190 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and $250-400 Thursdays-Sundays. Employees say the Johnsons weren’t at the restaurant Sunday to answer questions, though they wrote that they would answer any employee questions after Sunday’s shift.

Scott closed Jerry’s Other Place, a longtime dining standard in Austin, last November. Though Scott declined to say why he closed Jerry’s at that time, the restaurant had financial difficulties, and he filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, according to pacer.gov.

It is unclear how the Johnsons will repay lost wages, though Julie wrote that employees would divide what’s left “after everything gets settled in the accounts.”

“We just don’t know what the accounts will look like after the deposits yet,” she said.

Julie also said employees are welcome to take anything left at the restaurant that she and her husband don’t want.

The Johnsons wrote that they weren’t telling customers about the restaurant closing and were not saying anything to local media.

“We are closing as quietly as we opened,” Julie wrote.

Julie was listed as the owner of Home Plate and Scott worked as the kitchen manager and baseball consultant to the sports-themed restaurant, according to their website. Scott was listed as the owner of Jerry’s.