Legal battle puts City Park Bud’s Broiler in limbo

 

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By Todd A. Price, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

todd_price@nola.com

The Times-Picayune

 

Until last week, the oldest operating Bud’s Broiler was at 500 City Park Ave. On Wednesday morning (Nov. 28), the doors were open at the 24-hour hamburger joint and the grills still warm, but the name “Bud’s” had been painted over on the signs outside.

A legal fight between Bud’s Broiler Holdings, the company that owns the Bud’s name and recipes, and Shannon Prince, the franchisee of the City Park Avenue location, puts the restaurant’s future in doubt.

The franchise agreement required Prince to buy almost all her supplies and ingredients from the Bud’s Broiler company.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 21 in Orleans Civil District Court, the company claims Prince bought burger meat from another source and “attempted to duplicate” Bud’s hickory smoke sauce.

The Bud’s Broiler company sought a temporary restraining order that would stop Prince from using the Bud’s name and “trade secrets” and operating any business at 500 City Park Ave. that would compete with the New Orleans-based burger chain. According an attorney for Bud’s Broiler, the restraining ordered was granted last Wednesday (Nov. 21).

Along with unspecified outstanding fees, Bud’s Broiler also asks that Prince pay a $10,000 early contract termination penalty. The franchise agreement says Prince cannot run a competing business for two years after the termination of the contract.

Prince, through a company called SMMP, owns the 500 City Park Ave. building, according to the Orleans Parish Assessor’s website.

The Bud’s Broiler company declined to comment further on the litigation. Prince did not immediately reply to a message left at the restaurant.

Alfred J. “Bud” Saunders founded Bud’s Broiler, known for its charbroiled hamburgers, in 1952. The first restaurant was on Airline Highway. He opened the City Park location in 1956 and lived in an apartment above it.

Currently, a half dozen Bud’s Broilers operate in the New Orleans area.