Last edited 11:44 a.m., Sept. 28, 2022 [Editor's note: A statement from Michael Felts' attorney has been added.]
Court documents now adorn the door at the former home of Hot Cluckers in the same month that its proprietor was accused of misappropriating federal stimulus money.
At 1450 E. Sunshine St., a filing from a lawsuit in Greene County Circuit Court indicates Hot Cluckers LLC was ordered to exit the space. Property owner CLB Apex Holdings LLC is listed as the plaintiff.
"Hot Cluckers has been evicted from this location," reads signage on the door, signed by Chuck Bailey of CLB. "No one is permitted to enter this building without the express written approval and presence of the landlord or landlord's authorized agent."
Hot Cluckers moved its Nashville-style chicken restaurant out of the 2,000-square-foot Sunshine Street space after a south-side location opened in 2020 at 4406 S. Campbell Ave. Springfield Business Journal previously reported the Sunshine Street space was being used as a test kitchen for Hot Cluckers owner Michael Felts' various ventures.
A Sept. 12 judgment in Greene County Circuit Court signed by Judge Jerry Harmison Jr. states that CLB Apex Holdings could immediately assume possession of the property. Court documents, which point to a money judgment of $4,663, indicate Hot Cluckers LLC "failed to appear or otherwise defend."
Separately this month, Felts was accused in a federal case of a Paycheck Protection Program scheme involving his restaurants and residential property. Court documents allege Felts used companies under his control to complete false and fraudulent applications for PPP loans. Part of the stimulus funds allegedly were used to purchase and improve residential homes rather than their dedicated purpose of restaurant expenses, according to past reporting.
Hot Cluckers and Hot Cluckers LLC are not mentioned in the federal government's complaint. However, an entity called Cluck 2 LLC is listed.
An attorney is not listed for Hot Cluckers in the county case.
Abe McGull, Felts' attorney in the federal case, released a statement in response to a request for comment on the Sunshine Street eviction.
"Mr. Felts has retained legal counsel to handle this matter and cannot comment further concerning this investigation," the statement reads.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.