Two Omaha businesses have been the subject of bankruptcy cases in recent days, one involving a mail-order comic book outlet and the other involving shuttered midtown and west Omaha eatery Tommy Colina’s Kitchen.
Meyer & Sons Mail Order Comics said in its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing this week it has about $1 million of debts and less than $50,000 of assets. Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code is for the liquidation of a business; the Meyer & Sons filing indicated that no assets are likely to be available for distribution to creditors.
Also this week, a shareholder who was a co-owner of Tommy Colina’s Kitchen filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The petition of Grant Lundin cited about $215,000 of debt described as primarily incurred from the business, and assets of about $70,000. The filing said it is unlikely that assets will remain for distribution to creditors.
Both businesses seemed to have solid prospects.
Tommy Colina’s Kitchen, with locations in midtown and west Omaha, finished third among Omaha restaurants in The World-Herald’s Food Prowl for Best Eggs Benedict last year. Both locations closed in July.
Meyer & Sons Mail Order Comics had bulk customers as far away as South America, and was buying and selling thousands of copies a week.
Lundin’s Omaha attorney, Erin McCartney, said Friday she had informed her client of requests for comment or clarification on the matter but had not received a response from him.
At Meyer & Son’s, a sad combination of events engulfed the company, said Mitch Meyer, who owned 25 percent of the business along with other shareholders, according to the filing.
“We just wound up in a poor position financially,” Meyer said.
He said an expensive website, an online shopping tool crucial to garnering sales, was plagued with problems. Sales fell by half late last year, he said, just as huge lots of expensive new comic books hit the shelves where they sat unsold.
Also, Meyer said, a comics retailer in Argentina that had been buying thousands of copies per month suddenly reduced and then abandoned new orders. Early in 2012, Meyer spoke to The World-Herald about how higher gas prices were affecting his shipping and other costs. Then the company was forced to move from its Gretna location to make way for the Nebraska Crossing Outlets redevelopment.
“A lot of our regular customers were ordering half as much,” Meyer said. “It was a steady downward trend. Perhaps it had to do with the economy and discretionary spending.”
Top creditors of Meyer & Sons are Wells Fargo Bank, owed about $360,000, and a Maryland comic-book distributor owed $325,000.
The largest creditor in the Tommy Colina’s Kitchen case is an Illinois restaurant wholesaler owed about $120,000.