Champps in Towne Center closes following financial troubles

By Keitha Nelson - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After months of financial trouble, Champps Americana restaurant in Towne Center closed its doors Monday. The owner says they have not made a profit in at least a year.

After working all night during the NFC Championship game, Champps employees were greeted early Monday morning by a sign on the door letting them know the place is closed.

"It's tough when you're showing up, doing your job, putting in a lot of effort. Sales are increasing," said Laura Moon, now the former Marketing Manager at Champps. "We had such a good game yesterday with the Saints. And all of a sudden you get this."

Moon is among about a dozen Champps workers who got a police escort off of Towne Center's property. The group is riled up not only because they are out of a job, but this Monday was payday.

Rana Johnson who has worked for Champps for three years says she's not sure what to do next. With two children to take care of, she's frightened. In the past few months, Johnson says things at Champps have gone down hill. Johnson and others say their checks have bounced repeatedly. Banks and check cashing places won't even accept them.

"I have two pay checks that I don't even know where I'll be able to cash them," said Johnson. "There's nowhere to cash our checks."

Champps Americana manager Barrett Brennam says employee checks were mailed Monday. The restaurant's owner, Kenneth Shipp says officials from corporate headquarters told them to shut the place down a month ago.

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