THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG!
Foreclosure is a tragedy - unfortunately touching thousands of homeowners across the Chicago area these days, and, too often, their little furry pets that allow these humans into their lives.
What's also tragic is when foreclosure touches local businesses. In this case, one Chicago River North Eatery, whose fame grew several years ago when it was featured on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.
The joint - Mr. Beef, on Orleans Street, just north of the Kennedy Expressway Ontario Feeder Ramp.
According to Chicago Tribune Reporters Jeremy Gorner and Mike Hughlett in today's edition, Joseph Zucchero, one of the owners of the small and decidedly un-stylish restaurant, had two loans with the local Midwest Bank mature in 2008. Attempts to refinance the loans were unsuccessful - both applications were rejected by the bank. When the original principal was not repaid on the old loans when they matured, the bank filed a foreclosure action.
Says Zucchero, as quoted by Gorner and Hughlett, the bank is attempting to collect $300,000 on the loan collateralized by Mr. Beef, and another $300,000 relating to another Chicago restaurant partly owned by Zucchero.
The owner contends the beef stand is not closing - his business is strong! Zucchero's attorney, Jim DiChristofano, indicates the bank is awaiting approval of refinancing, and is not acting to shut down the homey Chicago beef joint at this time.
Although Jay Fritz, Chief Executive of Midwest Bank, refuses to comments specifically on the Mr. Beef situation, he acknowledges he eats their signature sandwiches often. He also mentioned his bank continues to "lend aggressively" to both new clients and old ones.
DiChristofano says he has seen similar desperate situations for other businesses across Chicago. Indeed, most banks are not lending to small businesses as much as they used to - even successful ones like Mr. Beef. He sees banks offering fewer and less generous lines of credit to small businesses - and that's reflective of a big problem impacting today's economy.
Hey, you dogs! It's a well-known fact that my Pup Reporter, Gracie Moss, and I just LOVE traditional Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches. Beef sliced paper-thin, then piled high on hearty Italian loaves. Dipped Au Jus - yes?
But - please, watch the sweet peppers! It could create an unbearable situation for us dogs, and the humans who live with us, Dean's Team Leaders Dean and Sue Moss! If you know what I mean!
And - Mr. Midwest Bank - isn't there any slack you can cut these guys? Mr. Beef is FANTASTIC, you know. And known all over the world!
Have a great weekend - and watch your cholesterol intake, you dogs!
See our post from yesterday evening via BlogChicagoHomes.com.
YOUR ACE REPORTER ON FOUR PAWS,
BUDDY HOLLY MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO