BRIDGEPORT — The hopeful entrepreneurs looking to open a kitschy 24-hour diner were dealt a setback earlier this year when their crowdfunding campaign came up way short.
But that didn’t stop the pair behind RaeAnne’s from touting a South Halsted Street building as the restaurant’s home on its official website.
Now, the building’s landlord is frustrated, saying the confusion has hurt her prospects of selling or leasing the space.
"The inference is that [RaeAnne's] is established and ready to go. They are really deceiving my marketing efforts to secure a suitable tenant," said real estate agent Jennifer Cacciatore, who's looking to sell or rent the building at 3235 S. Halsted St.
Neller Hamlin, the Kendall College-trained chef hoping to open RaeAnne's, a diner with a large menu focusing on breakfast and barbecue items, said it's all a misunderstanding.
"We haven't updated our website in a while, which needs to happen. Life got in the way, and updates are definitely long overdue on the site, and we're sorry about that," Hamlin said in an email.
The address was removed from the official RaeAnne's website last weekend.
Still, Cacciatore said she's resorted to “doing damage control" by calling several Chicago-based websites to have the address removed from blog posts and stories where the address of her property had been mentioned as the home of RaeAnne's. By her count, it’s at least seven mentions.
DNAinfo.com Chicago has removed the address from a May 2013 story saying it's where Hamlin and partner Leo Polanco were hoping to open.
Meanwhile, negotiations between Hamlin and Cacciatore have fizzled, and the pair is pressing on, saying they still are planning to bring their hearty diner-style fare somewhere in the city.
"We're still doing it, but would rather do it on our own terms and buy a property for it instead of leasing. We'd love for RaeAnne's to still be in Bridgeport, but at this point we haven't made any final decisions," Hamlin said.