DALEY CENTER — Double Door, a legendary music club that has hosted the Rolling Stones and Liz Phair, among others, could remain open thanks to a legal twist advanced by its lawyer during an eviction trial on Monday.
For months, the club has been battling its landlord, which has been trying to evict it. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Orville Hambright, Jr. said last week that he planned to finally rule on the case after closing arguments took place Monday.
But the legal twist caused the judge to continue the case until Wednesday.
"At this point, I need to see the whole case here," Hambright said.
Closing arguments were derailed when Cary Schiff, a lawyer for Double Door owner Sean Mulroney, pointed out that the building's landlord had not replied in a timely manner to the club's arguments that it should be allowed to stay.
At issue was the fact that William Dorsey, a lawyer for building owner Brian Strauss, did not respond to Mulroney's Jan. 8 motion within 28 days.
Dorsey didn't file a reply until last Friday and admitted to Hambright that the late filing was "an oversight.” Read Dorsey's response to Double Door's affirmative defense.
After Monday's nearly two-hour long hearing, Dorsey declined to comment further on the matter.
The Double Door has claimed that it had exercised the option to renew its lease, and that by Strauss initiating the eviction suit against the club, he was breaching the terms of the lease. The club also claimed that Strauss had waived any objections to Double Door's right to exercise a three-year option to extend the terms of their lease.
The judge told Strauss after the trial on Monday that he is in a position of "wait and see."
"Chips are going to fall like they may, Mr. Strauss, and if it's based on a technicality, you all have an opportunity to still work this out. I have not made a ruling," Hambright told Strauss.
Strauss, whose family has owned the Milwaukee Avenue property since 1977, has been trying to evict Double Door since early November, after the club's lease ended on Oct. 31.
Mulroney expressed optimism over the club's future after court concluded on Monday.
"We hope to work it out. If we don't, we'll find another home," Mulroney said.
And in the event of possibly losing in Circuit Court before Hambright, Mulroney indicated that he would appeal to appellate court, a process that could drag the eviction case on for another two years, by which point that even if Double Door had been allowed to stay an extra three years, the lease the parties have been arguing about would be over.
Lawyer in Double Door Eviction Case: 'Time for Them to Go' (Dec. 10, 2015)
Double Door to Open Third Entrance For First Time (July 10, 2013)
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