washingtonpost.com > Business > Local Business

Love nightclub's owners file for bankruptcy

By Danielle Douglas
Capital Business Staff Writer
Thursday, August 5, 2010

Park Place Inc., the corporate entity behind Love, the District's largest nightclub, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to keep creditors at bay as the company wraps up the sale of the club.

"It was a decision that we made just to keep everything going," said Marc S. Barnes, president of Park Place, which also owns the Park at 14th. "It's been taking a little bit longer to negotiate the sale than we expected. It could be [completed] any day or it could take another two months."

Barnes's creditors were unwilling to modify the company's debt to clear the way for the completion of the deal. According to court documents, the company owes between $1 million and $10 million to roughly 15 creditors, including equipment and music vendors. The company has up to $50,000 in assets.

Barnes and his wife, Anne, also filed for Chapter 11 as individuals, seeking further protection for their residential real estate and the two businesses.

The filings follow a tough year for Love. The four-story club just off New York Avenue NE was shuttered by authorities for three months after a stabbing there on New Year's Day. Washington's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board suspended Love's liquor license in response to the stabbing and several other incidents. Since reopening in March, the club has primarily been used for special events.

Barnes has drawn a host of top-shelf talent, such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé, to Love since the club opened in 2001. Both Love and the Park at 14th, which opened in 2007, have become popular venues for political fundraisers.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company