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Lynn's has closed!

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Robin Garr

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Lynn's has closed!

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:19 am

Text from WAVE3.
http://www.wave3.com/story/20569232/lyn ... final-meal

WAVE NEWS

Lynn's Paradise Cafe abruptly serves its final meal
By Joey Brown

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Lynn's Paradise Cafe, one of Louisville's most popular restaurants and a kitschy staple of the Highlands neighborhood, abruptly closed its doors for good on Friday.

In a brief statement released early Saturday morning, owner Lynn Winter said, "Thank you to all of our loyal customers and faithful employees for making it possible to a run a 22-year business. It's been a great run and we've had a ton of fun. The time has come to move on to new creative ventures."

Winter gave no specific reason for her decision.

Earlier on Friday, Lynn's Paradise Cafe came under intense scrutiny when current and former Lynn's employees and Kentucky Jobs with Justice launched a campaign aimed at stopping what Kentucky Jobs for Justice Executive Director Flaco Aleman called "disrespect and abuse" of the restaurant's workers.

The group cited, among other grievances, the termination of two employees over a new restaurant policy requiring servers to carry $100 cash at all times in order to "tip out" coworkers.

Aleman said it's a policy that is not only inconvenient for workers living paycheck to paycheck, but it is also against Kentucky law. "The law says workers cannot be forced to tip pool in Kentucky," Aleman said. "It can be an agreement -- a voluntary agreement -- but it cannot be forced."

Lynn's Chief Operating Officer Patty Schnatter confirmed the new policy. She said it was for the benefit of the employees, not the company. Schnatter said it would make it easier for them to file taxes at the end of the year and buy into insurance.

After learning of the complaints, Schnatter said restaurant management was reviewing the new policy and taking a poll of current employees to determine what they wanted to do.

Friday afternoon, Schnatter said legally she could not comment about specific personnel issues, but issued the following statement: "For 22 years Lynn's Paradise Cafe has been committed to working with our employees to create a positive working environment through the challenges of an ever-changing economy.

We are disappointed to learn that a few former employees and third-party agitators have some disagreements with us at this time. The issues raised arise from personnel matters that we cannot and will not discuss publicly.

We are reviewing all of the issues raised, we are listening to the concerns and we will respond at an appropriate time and in an appropriate manner."

Several hours later came the announcement from owner and president Lynn Winter that Lynn's Paradise Cafe had served its last meal.

WAVE 3 will have much more on this breaking story on WAVE 3 News Sunrise and on our later newscasts on Saturday.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.
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RonnieD

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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by RonnieD » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:25 am

I just don't get this. I realize this recent labor flare-up has been ugly, but Lynn's seems like too big of a thing to just shutter overnight.

Could Lynn's simply not weather the storm the labor issue was brewing? That would be a surprise to me!
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:30 am

Here's a discussion that opened up in my Facebook hangout while the forum was down for maintenance this morning. (I set it to public, but feel free to send me a friend request if you can't see it, or if you just want to. ;) )

http://www.facebook.com/robin.garr/post ... 5165187980
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:44 am

RonnieD wrote:I just don't get this. I realize this recent labor flare-up has been ugly, but Lynn's seems like too big of a thing to just shutter overnight.

Could Lynn's simply not weather the storm the labor issue was brewing? That would be a surprise to me!

Ronnie, it's a puzzlement to me, too. Lynn, of course, is a large personality who doesn't do things in small ways. I don't know her well, but my sense of her nature - and I say this more admiringly than critically - is that the "kerfluffle," whatever that is, might have prompted her to say, "@$*# it, I'm shutting 'er down."

I've always liked Lynn's, and I was certainly one of the crowd that often lined up there for brunch back in the day. I've long felt that these iconic memories were part of its appeal for locals.

I also saw its evolution as a national media trademark for Louisville's food scene, and I'm pretty sure that happened when a national food writer - John Mariani, I believe - did a quick-hit visit to Louisville, called the CJ's food editor for a recco, went to Lynn's, was intrigued by the kitch, and moved on to his next destination. His story got Lynn's name into other national food writers' consciousness and a legend was born.

I think about this when I see two or three of Louisville's top chefs working so hard to build national PR images, and I really wish I could find a way to advise 'em to cool it and just keep on impressing us with good food and good work. The reputation will follow.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:47 am

Lynn Winter responds via Lynn's Facebook fan page:

"We are touched to hear from so many of our loyal customers this morning. We’ll post an additional statement this afternoon. Thank you again for your continued support!"

http://www.facebook.com/lynnsparadiseca ... 0097385759
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Doug Davis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:52 am

RonnieD wrote:I just don't get this. I realize this recent labor flare-up has been ugly, but Lynn's seems like too big of a thing to just shutter overnight.

Could Lynn's simply not weather the storm the labor issue was brewing? That would be a surprise to me!


Never underestimate the ability of one's ego to drive ill informed and ill considered business decisions.
Either that or its a PR stunt to change the lead of the story from bad management practices to "oh my God dont close Lynn's!"

I give both options an equal likelihood of being true. In fact if its the second option (a PR stunt to generate sympathy) I would congratulate Lynn on a smart gutsy move. Because it will work. It almost worked for Earxtacy.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Matt K » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:02 pm

Doug Davis wrote:
RonnieD wrote:I give both options an equal likelihood of being true. In fact if its the second option (a PR stunt to generate sympathy) I would congratulate Lynn on a smart gutsy move. Because it will work. It almost worked for Earxtacy.


Almost, but, ultimately, didn't. I doubt that this is the case anyhow. She has a bad reputation among my fellow servers. This news doesn't surprise me in the least. :roll:
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Doug Davis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:37 pm

Matt K wrote:
Almost, but, ultimately, didn't. I doubt that this is the case anyhow. She has a bad reputation among my fellow servers. This news doesn't surprise me in the least. :roll:


Well I think that was more due to Earxtacy being in its death throws by the time John made his public appeal. Where as LPC has been a success and at least outwardly appears to still be financially stable. So simply changing the news story from one of "illegal" management practices to one of saving a local icon might work.

And while I agree she had a bad reputation (I have employed some of her past servers/hostesses), that has no bearing on whether this is a PR stunt or simply her ego driving the restaurants closing.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:47 pm

Cute response by Beckmann at Boombozz Highlands:

Michael Beckmann
I just want to celebrate another day of BoomBozz Highlands Taphouse. To all the former employees at you-know-where, we are offering you 50% off your Pies this weekend. Bring me proof that you worked there, and we will take care of you. To help wash it down, Brew Specials; Southern Tier Old Man Winter, Apocalypse Atomic Amber, Schlafly Tasmanian IPA, 3 Floyd's Alpha Klaus, New Holland Cabin Fever, Six Point Diesel, Founder's Centennial & Backwoods Bastard, & Flying Dog Raging Bitch are ALL TALL 4 small specials. I give til it hurts to ease your pain. Peace.
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Will Terry

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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Will Terry » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:58 pm

It's sad to lose a local landmark... Is tragic for the employees.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Gordon M Lowe » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:09 pm

As someone mentioned in another thread, there just seems to be a basic problem if a business can't front cash on CC tips to servers. I think it should be the business's burden to have the cash on hand for the servers so they can tip out the support staff.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Adam Arnold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:04 pm

No offense to anyone who liked Lynn's, but I was way more sad when the Little Chef in New Albany closed....they were open longer, were the unfortunate victim of the Sherman Minton, and they didn't treat their employees like crap. This is more like karma coming back to bite Lynn.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Mark R. » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:07 pm

Gordon M Lowe wrote:As someone mentioned in another thread, there just seems to be a basic problem if a business can't front cash on CC tips to servers. I think it should be the business's burden to have the cash on hand for the servers so they can tip out the support staff.

I think the problem is deeper than that. There are certainly many reasons including taxation and benefits that are much easier to handle if all of the employees money is given to them on a check instead of as cash. Especially with some of the new rules regarding healthcare I'm sure we will see more restaurants going this route.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Gordon M Lowe » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:21 pm

Mark R. wrote:
Gordon M Lowe wrote:there just seems to be a basic problem if a business can't front cash on CC tips to servers. I think it should be the business's burden to have the cash on hand for the servers so they can tip out the support staff.

I think the problem is deeper than that. There are certainly many reasons including taxation and benefits that are much easier to handle if all of the employees money is given to them on a check instead of as cash.


I'm sure it's financially easier for the business to hold back, but it would be better for the employees to have the cash advanced to them.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:23 pm

Interesting blog post from a Lynn's server caught by surprise: http://jessaltes.wordpress.com/2013/01/ ... dise-lost/
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