Restaurant closes doors but doesn't close out

By: Alex Hambrick Email
By: Alex Hambrick Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Former Broncos player Vance Johnson opened a restaurant in Grand Junction just a few months ago but recently had to close the doors. However, former employees say they have not received their final paychecks.

"He just locked the doors and walked away and crossed his fingers and hoped for the best, and that's illegal," said former Kitchen Manager Brian Braukhoff.

Braukhoff said he tried to contact Vance Johnson several times since his restaurant, Epic Curious, closed two weeks ago but said he has not heard from Johnson.

Braukhoff and other former staff said they are afraid it will be months before they see the money they earned.

Former cook and mother of two Tausha Pruitt said the last pay check she received from Johnson bounced.

"You know he is trying to act like a role model, but he's not," said Pruitt.

Pruitt filed a complaint with the Department of Labor on behalf of the group of ex-staff members.

"I just got an email today saying they are starting to investigate it now," said Pruitt.

At this point, former server Jessica Jenkins said she feels helpless but wants to let the community know how Johnson treated his former staff.

"I want to let everybody find out and see what a real man he is," said Jenkins, "but I actually need money to pay my bills, and thanks to him I don't have an income now."

KKCO 11 News reached out to Vance Johnson, but the calls were not returned.

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