The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Bow Truss Coffee Shops Closed Thursday After Unpaid Employees Skip Work

By Rachel Cromidas in Food on Jan 12, 2017 5:57PM

Chicago's 10 Bow Truss coffee shop locations closed Thursday after employees refused to work in protest over not getting paid last week, Crains is reporting.

Updated 3:30 p.m.: Bow Truss owner and CEO Phil Tadros told Chicagoist via email that he is now "trying to secure financing and a good partner" for the business. He also said the coffee chain has "a great team, and I feel horrible that their paychecks are delayed."

Bow Truss has been struggling financially in recent months, as owner and CEO Phil Tadros tries to find an emergency partner for the company after a deal with prospective new partner Marcus Lemonis fell through. Lemonis was planning on buying a majority stake in the company and loaned Bow Truss about $100,000 to help him keep the coffee business afloat.

"Did the best I could," Lemonis, a Chicago-area business man, Tweeted Thursday morning in response to the news:

He also told Crains in a phone interview that he had "zero interest" in partnering with Tadros on Bow Truss. Tadros told Crains in a separate conversation that he was counting on Lemonis for a second, larger loan to help cover expenses, including payroll, but when that didn't come he was unable to pay some employees for their work this month. Tadros said he's opening to re-open the coffee shops within the next few days, but for now the chain is in a "time out until we can figure out what's going on."

Tadros's and Bow Truss have each garnered some notoriety in recent years, thanks to reports of The Budlong restaurant closing in Lakeview due to business problems between Tadros and former partner Jared Leonard, and an August domestic battery charge against Tadros, and some community cries of gentrification in response to Bow Truss's entry into Pilsen.