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Double Door Eviction Fight: Music To Continue as Case Drags on

By Alisa Hauser | January 8, 2016 11:56am | Updated on January 8, 2016 12:34pm
 Acts playing the Double Door have ranged from the Rolling Stones to Sonic Youth.
Acts playing the Double Door have ranged from the Rolling Stones to Sonic Youth.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — An eviction case against the iconic music club Double Door was continued Friday until Jan. 27. The music venue has nearly two dozen events and concerts scheduled for January.

A copy of the lease, which allegedly expired Oct. 31, was not attached to the initial action against Double Door, so the building owners agreed to amend their complaint to include a copy of the lease, lawyers for the owners said.

Cook County Circuit Judge Orville Hambright, Jr. continued the case.

Double Door agreed to a building inspection on Monday. Such inspections are common when there is a buyer interested in a property.  On Dec. 23, Downtown investment firm Speedwagon Properties filed an "affidavit of interest" in buying the 113-year-old property, according to county records.

Speedwagon Properties' affidavit to buy the four-story building at 1570-72 N. Milwaukee Ave. was accepted by the seller, Brian Strauss, on Dec. 18 and notarized Dec. 23. Reaching a final agreement on the sale could take weeks. The new owner would then continue the case.

Such affidavits are sometimes used when there are possible legal complications in the sale of a property. Strauss' efforts to evict tenant Double Door have been ongoing.

Though Double Door has not paid rent since Oct. 31, an attorney for the Strauss family said after Friday's hearing that the club made an agreed-upon "occupancy payment" of $19,760 for December, but no money has been received for January.

Bonita Stone, another lawyer for the building owners, previously said regardless of the tactics Double Door lawyers take, "I have a written contract that says we are entitled to our property. We have a lease. It has expired. It's time for them to go. Last time I checked, this is America and we can do that."

The owners of Double Door, which has played host to wide-ranging acts, including the Rolling Stones, Rise Against and Sonic Youth, had 180 days to renew their lease for the building at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. before it expired, according to Stone.

Stone acknowledged that due to the popularity of Double Door and its long history in the neighborhood, "there are a lot of people interested in its fate" but added, "I represent a landlord who wants his property back. They can delay it but only for so long."

Double Door owner Sean Mulroney and business partner Joe Shanahan, owner of Metro, have declined multiple requests for comment. However, Mulroney has said, "No shows coming up are in danger; [and for those concerned] we will sell the ticket on the day of the show."

A representative for Cary Schiff, a lawyer for Double Door, filed a motion to dismiss the eviction case.

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