Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Note From Matthew O'Malley - Clarification on Litigation

A couple readers sent us this note:
Our Valued Guests:  
Recently, there have been several inaccurate articles regarding Mainstay Hospitality’s restaurants and real estate interests in the South Loop. Although there are too many inaccuracies to correct in this letter, I feel it is important to reach out to the community and to you, our valued guests, to address a few key items. The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, City Tavern and Wabash Tap (all under the Mainstay Hospitality banner) continue to operate in the normal course of business and honor our commitments to our guests and this community.  
Over the past seven years, besides our restaurant endeavors, I made investments in a joint venture that worked aggressively to develop properties on Motor Row as a natural extension of the South Loop area. The bank consolidation that took place over recent years resulted in The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant and City Tavern’s real estate loans to be held by affiliates of the same lender that provided financing to the Motor Row joint venture.  
Unfortunately, due to matters beyond my control, the Motor Row joint venture is in default with respect to its loans relating to the development of a boutique hotel previously planned for 2400 South Michigan Avenue and is currently in litigation with its lender. In connection with that litigation, the bank decided not to renew and to declare a default under the mortgages for the real estate related to The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant and City Tavern, even though the businesses consistently met their monthly mortgage obligations. I expect to resolve the Motor Row litigation in the near future and to obtain new financing for the South Loop properties from a more community-focused lender. In the mean time, the recent filings are being contested and do not affect the operations of the restaurants.  
As a resident and member of the business community for over 16 years and an operator for over 23 years, I am proud to call the South Loop my home. The restaurants are thriving because of your consistent patronage. The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant will be celebrating 14 years of service in December while Wabash Tap is in its 10th year and City Tavern has just completed its 1st year. Mainstay Hospitality has over 150 employees in the South Loop and we take our role and responsibility as an operator, community participant, and neighbor seriously. Our commitment has been unquestioned and is unwavering. You can be assured we remain dedicated to providing the highest quality food, beverage and service standards.  
Thank you for your support and I look forward to continuing to serve you.  
Matthew O’Malley
For those who haven't been following this story, here are two older posts on the topic and issue O'Malley has publicly been dealing with (Chicago Firehouse and City Tavern).

Best of luck to Mr. O'Malley.  He and his staff has been integral in the evolution of the Sloop.

(Hat tip:  JJ & FS!)

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