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T's Bar Closed After Months of Unpaid Rent, Building Owner Says

By Benjamin Woodard | March 26, 2013 7:21pm

UPTOWN — T's Bar was shut down by the Cook County Sheriff's Office Tuesday after its owner went months without paying rent, said building owner Julie Mai.

"He can open tomorrow — tonight — if he pays me," she said of Colm Treacy, who not only owns T's but also the Glenwood Bar and newly opened Sidecar Bar and MorseL restaurant in Rogers Park.

Mai said Treacy hadn't paid rent in "six or eight months," even though he was making "a lot of money" at the popular 12-year-old LGBT hangout.

Mai — who said she's owned the building at 5025 N. Clark St. since 1994, when she had a restaurant of her own there — was changing the locks on the building Tuesday afternoon.

Treacy did not respond to phone calls and a voicemail seeking comment.

But he did post on his Facebook page Tuesday that T's would be closing.

"Sometimes the universe gives us a sign of better things to come," the post said. "...Ts officially closed today...after many years of food, family and fun, we want to thank all that have traveled with us on this amazing journey and hope u will continue to do so as we move on to our next chapter."

In the past year, Treacy has opened two new late-night eateries and bars, including martini bar Sidecar and MorseL, an upscale joint steps from the Morse "L" station.

He recently sold Sofo Bar, which has since been renamed the Sofo Tap.

Treacy's other locations were open Tuesday afternoon, and bartenders and servers there said they hadn't heard that they would be closing.

"MorseL is not for sale and it is not closing," said one server.

In a previous interview with DNAinfo.com Chicago, Treacy said he emigrated from Ireland 27 years ago and moved to Rogers Park, then to Andersonville after five years.

But he said he had a soft spot for Rogers Park.

"People in Rogers Park are charming. I don't feel like I'm living in a big city," Treacy said on MorseL's opening night. "I feel like I'm part of the neighborhood."

He said he was selling his house in Andersonville to move back to Rogers Park.

In October, Treacy told the Windy City Times that he took part in a FBI sting operation to incriminate a state auditor who had solicited a bribe in exchange for looking the other way on taxes owed by T's.

Treacy said the Illinois Department of Revenue claimed he owed more than $100,000 in backed taxes.

Treacy claimed the unpaid taxes were due to an accounting error, and that he has already paid much of what was owed.

"It's a shame," said long-time T's customer Keith Van, who called friends outside the eatery to change his dinner plans. "It's a watering hole where all of us came."