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

Ald. Moreno Defends Heated Rant Against Ex-Double Door Landlord In Video

By Stephen Gossett in News on May 17, 2017 5:42PM

double door photo via instagram

If it wasn't already clear how contentious the battle between former Double Door landlord Brian Strauss and those who strived to keep the fabled music club in its Wicker Park home, this should put it in perspective.

Video obtained by CBS Chicago shows the heated between showdown Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, who fought to keep the Double Door at its longtime home base, and Strauss, which happened on the day of Double Door's eviction this winter.

"I don't trust your word. I don't think you're a man," Moreno charges.

"You can't sign new leases for your tenants. It's going to be an empty building with no income for you or your family. End of conversation," a visibly irritated Moreno blasts. Strauss told CBS that he thought Moreno was intimidating and threatening him.

Moreno did not immediately return a request for comment from Chicagoist, but he told CBS that he was happy the video had emerged (“That’s the way it goes. People get heated," he said) and he told DNA Info that Strauss was guilty of bullying behavior of his own.

Moreno told Chicagoist in February, after staff said they spotted Moreno in a screaming match on the day of eviction, "As you know, I am a big fan of music and it is difficult to see Double Door being evicted because the landlord is being unreasonable. I want him to get a fair price, but in the opinion of many independent real estate professionals, his ask is totally unreasonable. What started out as an amicable conversation, became an intense one because we are both adamant about our stances. I don't want Double Door to leave and at the end of the day, I want to do everything I can to make sure a Wicker Park institution stays in the neighborhood."

Double Door staff alleged that they were filmed during the eviction and that a petty cash room had been kicked open with money missing, among other shenanigans. Strauss did return not a request for comment via his lawyer about those day-of eviction happenings.

At one point during the protracted eviction hearings last year, Moreno introduced a "spot zoning" change for the property, at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., which would restrict ground-level operations for prospective commercial tenants. So far, no action has been taken on the downzoning, which sits untouched in a City Council committee.

In February, Strauss' attorney said that Double Door owners had failed to pay on a $468,000 bond order. Co-owner Sean Mulroney said in a statement that "Mr. Strauss terminated the lease under particularly dishonest circumstances after accepting substantial additional monies from Double Door and realizing the benefit of almost $100,000 in improvements just a year prior."

Double Door owners confirmed last that they were considering a move to the Logan Square State and Savings Bank building.