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Bow Truss Out At Mariano Park; Park District Cites Unpaid Bills

By  David Matthews Ed Komenda and Tanveer Ali | February 2, 2017 6:05pm | Updated on February 2, 2017 7:12pm

 Bow Truss lost its lease last month at Mariano Park in the Gold Coast after failing to comply with
Bow Truss lost its lease last month at Mariano Park in the Gold Coast after failing to comply with "payment commitments," the park district says.
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DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

GOLD COAST – You’ll no longer find Bow Truss in the Gold Coast's Mariano Park.

The Chicago Park District dissolved its permit agreement with the beleaguered coffee shop Jan. 12 for “failure to comply with payment commitments and operational concerns" at the corner of State and Rush streets, Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, a Chicago Park District spokeswoman, said in an email.

Those concerns “compelled the Chicago Park District to exercise its right to dissolve its permit agreement with Bow & Truss Inc.,” Maxey-Faulkner said.

The Chicago Park District on Thursday advertised a “Notice of Availability” for the concession spot at Mariano Park, a small plaza at 1031 N. State St. The Tribune first reported Bow Truss' departure from the park.

The embattled coffee company has been wrapped up in recent controversy after failing to pay its employees and rent at several locations.

The payroll issues came to a head last month, when workers at all 10 Bow Truss coffee shops walked off the job over not getting paid. The protest was in response to paychecks bouncing so frequently that some workers now have a permanent 10-day hold on all bank deposits, one employee said. Some Bow Truss shops have since reopened.

Phil Tadros, Bow Truss' owner, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Bow Truss' arrival to the park was controversial ever since Tadros pitched the shop to skeptical Gold Coast neighbors. Bow Truss beat out many other prospective concessionaires, including longtime Mariano Park coffee shop Whispers Cafe, in 2015 as the park district sought more revenue from the tony park.

Bow Truss' contract with the park district showed the coffee shop owed $64,000 in rent for its first year in the park, up from the $45,000 Whispers paid in 2015. It's unclear what "payment commitments" Bow Truss failed to keep. Bow Truss signed a seven-year lease with the park district in 2015 and opened in the summer of 2016.

Tadros also drew ire from neighbors last year for swapping out the Amorino gelato Whispers served for years at the park in favor of Black Dog Gelato. One Gold Coast resident likened Bow Truss' kiosk to a generic "IKEA shack" with unfriendly staff when interviewed by DNAinfo.

Mariano Park, 1031 N. State St., is one of the oldest in Chicago and features a century-old concession stand designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Birch Burdette Long.


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