Marie's Riptide Lounge Saga Appears to be Over As Court Rules on Cash Loan
BUCKTOWN — The financial troubles plaguing the owner of an iconic Bucktown bar might be over in as soon as seven days, it was determined in a Cook County courtroom Thursday.
Teary-eyed yet happy, Tina Congenie, 49, hugged her son in relief shortly after Judge Mary Ellen Coghlan ordered that she accept a $150,000 personal loan offer from a man Congenie described as a friend.
Richard Parrillo's cash would enable Congenie — who was willed ownership of Marie Riptide Lounge's when the legendary bar owner passed away two years ago — to pay a settlement due to Marie Wuczynski's three biological children.
By third-party special administrator Peter Coorlas's estimate, the personal loan from Parrillo was the best out of the five offers that were submitted to him for review by a Feb. 8 deadline.
After praising Coorlas for putting together "a thorough and exceptional report," which detailed the five offers, Coghlan approved the order. The cash must be paid to Coorlas within a week.
Congenie has a deadline of Sept. 2016 to pay the money back to Parrillo, who requested a 50-percent ownership of the business and its lease as collateral.
"A friend heard about [my problems] though Twitter, and reached out to [Parrillo], who texted me to ask if I needed help," Congenie said. "The next day he was at my door."
Parrillo and his lawyer declined to comment.
There was one party that objected to Coghlan's order.
Construction firm Bulley & Andrews, which sits next to the bar, made an offer of $550,000 to purchase the real estate, one of the five offers Coorlas evaluated.
The firm's lawyer, Keith Edeus appeared before Coghlan and objected to her order. But he conceded that Parrillo's loan offer does not trigger the first right of refusal Wuczynski gave the firm in 2006.
Philip Bernstein represents Wuczynski's three children and said after the hearing that he is "hopeful and cautiously optimistic" that his clients will get paid soon.
At the next court hearing, March 14, Coorlas said he plans to file a petition to transfer the remainder of Wuczynski's estate to Congenie and get the estate closed.