Archive for Thursday, June 30, 2011

Papa Keno’s remains open as owner files for bankruptcy

June 30, 2011


Papa Keno’s Pizzeria remains open in downtown Lawrence as the company and its owner seek bankruptcy protection.

Greg Keenan filed earlier this month for bankruptcy protection both for himself and for his business, Papa Keno’s Pizzeria Inc., which operates a restaurant at 1035 Mass.

In the filings, Keenan lists debts of $44,000 against assets of $50,000.

Keenan continues to operate the business as a debtor in possession.

Court officials have noted that Keenan’s filing lacks required documents and financial information, and Keenan has been ordered to file such information by July 8. A meeting with creditors is slated for July 25.

Papa Keno’s started two decades ago, in a small Ninth Street shop a half block east of Massachusetts Street. The restaurant soon would relocate to its current home, and Keenan would expand to start restaurants in the Kansas City area and Denver.

In 2005 and in 2008, he ran into trouble with the Kansas Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes. At one point the restaurant and its assets were seized.

Attempts to reach Keenan were unsuccessful.


The_Original_Bob 6 years ago

"In the filings, Keenan lists debts of $44,000 against assets of $50,000"

Sounds like he can pay his bills and close up shop just fine, but I'm no tax lawyer so I'm probably missing the point here.

Watching the decline of Papa Keno's has been sad.

Joseph Jarvis 6 years ago

@The_Original_Bob: Bankruptcy can be either liabilities > assets or inadequate liquidity to meet bills as they come due. Some of the $50K in assets may be somewhat illiquid things, e.g., ovens, odd lots of inventory.

Tony Kisner 6 years ago

Papa, It seems when you first opened on Mass. you played a lot of Motown. - is the request line open? Loved it. Love the pizza, when people come to town I take them to your place.

6 years ago

Sorry, but under the recently passed bankruptcy law amendments it's very difficult to dump your debts completely, and certainly not worth while to file bk when you are only 6 grand in the hole. heck the attorney fees are that much, and most bk attorneys require full payment up front. A specific debtor may have been close to seizing some secured property crucial to his business, such as fixtures and/or equipment, and he responded by filing bk and obtaining the benefit of the automatic stay prohibiting debtors from attempt to collect on a debt, including repossession, so he can stay in business and try to pull himself out of the small hole he is in.

6 years ago

You obviously don't know much about bankruptcy law. I do. i have filed over 500 bankruptcy cases on behalf of clients. My daddy always said when you don't know much about an issue, its best to keep your mouth shut rather than open it and show your ignorance

Might be a deadbeat. Might not. We have no way of knowing. Until you are familiar with all the facts, its best to just stfu.

jafs 6 years ago

If he has assets of $50K and debts of $44K, he isn't $6K "in the hole" - he has $6K more than he needs to pay the debts, no?

Andrew Reeves 6 years ago

I think the location in Overland Park is pretty damn good still. I have found that you have to order a full, fresh pie. If you go by the slice, you're eating something that has been sitting out for quite some time.

GovJunkie 6 years ago

Such is the state in the era of the slacker... Times were when bankruptcy was a personal failure. Now it's seen as a right for anyone who simply doesn't want to pay their bills. You have more assets in the biz than debt... And one assumes access to other funds... Home equity, savings, sell something, etc. Thanks for trying... Hardly. Didn't pay taxes or creditors. Please consider sucking it up, paying your creditors and hang your head high because you met your obligations with dignity and responsibility. Gj

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

actually, statistics show that most in bankruptcy pay either all or the vast majority of their debts, just taking a bit longer than should be. But please, do not bother yourself with facts, they only betray your opinion.

irvan moore 6 years ago

i like papas pizza, please let me know who has better.

RogueThrill 6 years ago

Wheat State's Farmer is pretty much the best in town, although they are also sketchy on the tax front. Papa John's is good, if only for it's predictability. Some of my friend's love Rudy's, but I would prefer store bought freezer pizza. Their pizza isn't terrible or anything, it's just plain.

notanota 6 years ago

Rudy's is delicious. The weak point is the crust, which isn't so great. Wheat State is good but a bit pricey.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Ick. A $3.00 frozen pizza is better than that place. If you were wearing a blindfold it would be difficult to tell if you were chewing on the box from the frozen pizza or the crust on a Rudy's pizza.

jafs 6 years ago

Well, 715, Teller's and Genovese all have the same style - thin crust - and I think the quality is better.

MarcoPogo 6 years ago

The Johnny's pies (especially the north location) are definitely worth checking out. In the KC area, don't miss Waldo Pizza.

RogueThrill 6 years ago

Wheat State. Pap Johns. Pyramid. Jesus, even Pizza Shuttle.

Papa has treated his employees like crap for so long that they no longer care about their product. It's dried and crusty, flavorless.

If you like thin crust pizza, you should probably start lobbying for an Imo's in Lawrence or figure out where 135th and Flint is.

notanota 6 years ago

I tried Imo's after hearing someone rave. I was underwhelmed.

notanota 6 years ago

If you want local or localish: Ingredient, Rudy's, Wheat State, Genovese.

Pitt_Mackeson 6 years ago

We needs a girl around here. To stick up for the little guy, and to do the laundry and make sammiches.

Andrew Reeves 6 years ago

Most men are probably happy with that. An equally offensive example would be from Stephen King's 'Gerald's Game". I'll let you find what I'm talking about. (if you don't already know).

Olympics 6 years ago

What I heard sniff...that some of the increased operating costs sniff....over the past few years sniff...went for "allergy" medicine sniff. Dang it, my nose is bleeding again.

Gonna miss that pizza.

Lesta 6 years ago

Somewhere in the world Jeff Loney is laughing his arse off about this news...

former_kansan 6 years ago

I worked at papa kenos for 3 days last year. I walked out because it was unsanitary. My first day the cold well broke and he said he'd get it fixed asap.for the 3 days I was there the food in the cold table went without refrigeration. Don't get me started on the lack of hot water or the flies that live in the floor drains. As far as better pizza goes I'd say gambinos, glory days, and even little ceasers beat kenos anyday. He never did pay me for my 3 days.

jafs 6 years ago

Bump for NY pizza!

John's in Greenwich Village, if you're from NY.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

I've heard from a number of people that he can be very abusive towards employees.

Too bad, because I like the pizza, even if it's not as good as it used to be.

ChootemLiz 6 years ago

The negativity of some comments are saddening. Lawrence has lost a lot of local businesses and partly because of the lack of support from our community. It's sad to see some institutions that have been in Lawrence for decades are now gone or struggling. These are people's lives and jobs at stake.

Doug Fisher 6 years ago

^This I partly blame on newly transplanted folks who don't have much vested interest in the local things that Downtown Lawrence has to offer, especially people who live in the western suburbs of town. They have all their chain stores within a 5-block area and don't go downtown much, if at all. A shame really because Lawrence to me is the only livable place left in KS and it's on the way downhill:(

gatekeeper 6 years ago

I support local business, especially when it comes to pizza. The difference is that I support local business that serves good food in a clean environment and pays their employees. If a business is dirty, treats employees poorly and offers a cr*ppy product, we should support it just because it's locally owned?

Curtis Lange 6 years ago

I'm in the 'havent been in years' boat thanks to crappy service, rude emplyees and disgusting pizza. Even if it is the best pizza on Earth now, I wouldn't go back. Let it close down. Not a care will be given.

irvan moore 6 years ago

i'v had mostly good pizza there. a couple of not so great over the years but pretty happy with the product. the kids working there have been pleasant and trated us well,

Doug Fisher 6 years ago

I no longer live in Lawrence but check this site from time to time. Doesn't seem to be alot of good news these days coming from downtown with all the vacancy rates. I guess all the big box/chain stores on the West side wasn't so good after all. First, Penny Annie's and now Papa Keno's, which I always liked both places despite alot of folks complaining here. Whenever I'm back I've always observed long lines out the door at Coldstone, when places like Sylas and Maddy's are nearly empty. Seems to me that alot of Lawrencians don't shop at enough local places as all the chain stores are more packed. No wonder your downtown is declining.

Andrew Reeves 6 years ago

715, Free State, The Burger Stand, Wa, Pyramid Pizza, Wheatfield's, etc........

bevy 6 years ago

LIKE! Cheaper and BETTER than coldstone or Ben & Jerry's, plus local. That' s a win-win-win!

Tricky Gnosis 6 years ago

Since you no longer live here, it would be easy to miss the lines out the door at Sylas and Maddy's. I can't remember the last time I took my kids there when it was "nearly empty."

Penny Annie's closed because they were tired of running the business.

If the downtown retailers learned to stay open after most people are done with work, this whole "competing with big box stores" wouldn't be an issue. I'd infinitely rather get the birthday presents at The Toy Store, but I end up going to Target.

Tony Kisner 6 years ago

Filing could be a way to void the lease. A new normal is comin g for landlords downtown.

Sigmund 6 years ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) replies… "I've heard from a number of people that he can be very abusive towards employees."

Back a couple of years ago that was certainly true and not surprisingly the quality of the pizza sucked. However since the 2008 problems with the Department of Revenue he cleaned up his act and the quality of the pizza improved considerably.

Easy_Does_It (anonymous) says… "Filing could be a way to void the lease. A new normal is comin g for landlords downtown."

The recent remodeling increased the seating capacity, but I bet the rent downtown is the killer. I hope that he can re-negotiate his current lease terms but if not I bet he could be profitable a number of different locations. One that comes to mind is the 9th Street location Pizza Shuttle left for downtown. Still close to campus and not too far from downtown and I imagine the rent would be 1/3 of what he is paying today. I prefer his style of pizza (at least most of the time) and it would be a shame if he closed.

Andrew Reeves 6 years ago

......"9th Street location Pizza Shuttle left for downtown."

Pyramid Pizza?

Sigmund 6 years ago

nomansland (anonymous) says... " I guess all the big box/chain stores on the West side wasn't so good after all. First, Penny Annie's and now Papa Keno's, which I always liked both places despite alot of folks complaining here."

Yeah that Big Box candy store and pizza shop got closed down by Walmart and Best Buy. "Big Candy" is going to open a non-union factory in Topeka which will definitely put a end to Free State Brewery. Just a matter of time.

jafs 6 years ago

Are you paying your debts or declaring bankruptcy?

Katara 6 years ago

Well, you've certainly given LJW a reason to bounce you now. Others have been bounced for the repeated posts stunt.

notanota 6 years ago

I hope you're a troll, because you're making me not want to patronize the store if you're the real deal and really that immature.

jafs 6 years ago

Me too.

I was considering giving them another try based on reports of improvements in the quality of the pizza.

But, the behavior of the owner on here is rapidly discouraging that.

And, remember, this isn't the first time he's had trouble - they almost shut him down for failure to pay taxes at least once.

Sounds to me as though he has some chronic money management issues, in addition to a rather unpleasant personality.

ChootemLiz 6 years ago

I agree with papakeno in that Mark Fagan is a "hack reporter", goes back to my comment about lack of support for our community. You would think our local paper would want to support our local businesses since it is local businesses that help support the paper.

jafs 6 years ago


Not only is papa gone, but kusadgirl as well?

ChootemLiz 6 years ago

What did kusadgirl say that had her removed?

gsxrmike 5 years, 5 months ago

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