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It Doesn't Look Like Wicker Park's First Bow Truss Is Opening Anytime Soon

By  Alisa Hauser and Ariel Cheung | March 17, 2017 2:39pm | Updated on March 20, 2017 8:34am

 Construction scene at a Bow Truss that has initially hoped to open in January, and then March.
Construction scene at a Bow Truss that has initially hoped to open in January, and then March.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — A Bow Truss coffee shop that was scheduled to replace dentist Luis Casals' "time capsule" office has been a graffiti-marred silent construction zone for several weeks.

Located at 1948 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park, the storefront —  less than a block east of the six-corner intersection — was snapped up Bow Truss founder Phil Tadros last March.

Initially hoping to open in mid-January, the target date was delayed to mid-March, Tadros told DNAinfo in December. But that was before Tadros was forced to temporarily shut down all Bow Truss locations after employees walked off the job in January.

Tadros did not returns calls or emails seeking an update on the Wicker Park Bow Truss.

So far, Bow Truss has reopened at 406 Well St. and 190 S. LaSalle Downtown. Emails sent to employees at the start of 2017 suggested the company would move slowly on the re-openings and halt new store openings. Tadros himself said the chain was "taking a time out until things are refocused and on track."

Tadros previously said that the new Wicker Park spot will offer a cold brew bar in the 1,760-square-foot space, which will have at least 40 seats and be more of a hangout spot, similar to a Bow Truss in Lakeview.

Casals, who had a sign advertising "Dentista" in his window for decades, ran his office like a time capsule, featuring museum-like equipment that he used on a cluster of patients who'd been loyally seeing him for years before the 81-year-old retired last year.

Former dentist office at 1948 W. North Ave., under construction to become a Bow Truss. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]

Graffiti on the window of 1948 W. North Ave., where a Bow Truss is under construction [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]

Bow Truss finally closed due to ongoing payment issues with vendors, landlords and employees, staffers told DNAinfo in January.

Since then, baristas have sued their onetime employer over unpaid wages and entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis backed out of a deal to acquire Bow Truss, saying he had "no interest in being partners" with Tadros.

Tadros denies not paying employees and accused Lemonis of withdrawing his bid in a manipulation to lower the sale price.

In February, the Chicago Park District dissolved its permit agreement with Bow Truss, pulling the coffee shop from Mariano Park in Gold Coast. Officials said Tadros "failed to comply with payment commitments and operational concerns."

Meanwhile, Tadros and Lemonis have sued each other over the failed deal. Tadros is also involved in several other lawsuits, among them a battle for Budlong Hot Chicken.

A history of failed businesses and at least 15 lawsuits from Tadros were brought to light in a July Crain's report.