HARRODSBURG — Central Bank & Trust of Lexington bought Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse and 38 acres around it for $4.25 million Friday at a master commissioner's sale. The bank was the only bidder.
Steve Kelly, executive vice president of marketing and sales for the bank, had no comment on the sale "because it is an ongoing legal matter." The bank is in litigation with Montgomery, one half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry.
Kelly said it's common for banks to buy foreclosure properties to retain title and to resolve the cases.
The sale was ordered by a judge so the proceeds could be used to pay some of the $12.7 million in default loans owed to Central Bank.
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Eddie Montgomery filed for individual bankruptcy on Dec. 31. The bankruptcy filing listed $8.4 million in claims, many related to the restaurant. Montgomery listed $13.4 million in liabilities and $1.9 million in assets.
Montgomery and his wife, Tracy, opened the restaurant in 2009. They have since divorced. The restaurant closed abruptly last May.
The restaurant and 38 acres were part of a future planned development called Skylar's Landing, named for Montgomery's granddaughter. The building and acreage were assessed for tax purposes at $6.3 million, said Danville lawyer Kevin Nesbitt, who acted as a special master commissioner Friday in lieu of Tom Hensley, the commissioner appointed by Circuit Judge Darren Peckler, whose circuit is Boyle and Mercer counties.
As originally envisioned, the 38 acres of commercial development was to have 30 retail lots, but nothing was built aside from the restaurant.
Montgomery and his music partner, Troy Gentry, had a string of hits from 1999 to 2008, including Lucky Man, My Town, Gone and Daddy Won't Sell the Farm.
The two got their start playing in Lexington bars, including Austin City Saloon and The Grapevine.
Friday's sale attracted about 30 people to the Mercer County Courthouse. When Nesbitt announced that Central Bank had submitted a bid for $4.25 million, no one else called out a competing bid.
Harrodsburg lawyer Michael Conover began walking through the crowd to the courthouse exit once he heard the bank's bid.
Some, including Beaumont Inn owner Chuck Dedman, attended out of curiosity, just to see what the successful bid would be.