A war percolating between the owner of Bow Truss Coffee Roasters and a Chicago investor has moved to the courts.
Philip Tadros, owner of Bow Truss and other food and beverage shops in Chicago, has sued Alan Matthew, a venture capitalist who invested $25,000 in Bow Truss and tens of thousands more in other startups headed by Tadros.
In the lawsuit, Tadros says Matthew breached his fiduciary duty as a company shareholder and defamed Tadros publicly. Tadros is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages.
Tadros told me he’s suing “to draw a legal line and document what (Matthew) has done, and let the courts decide what he owes us in damages.”
Matthew didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the suit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court, Tadros says Matthew invested in Tadros’ companies over three years. Their business relationship “began to sour,” the filing says, when “Matthew apparently became dissatisfied with the return on his investments.”
The lawsuit says Matthew publicly criticized Tadros in a story in July by the weekly Crain’s business magazine and on social media. The lawsuit also accuses Matthew of disclosing confidential documents “that were otherwise only available to officers and investors of Mr. Tadros’ businesses.”
That’s a breach of fiduciary duty by a stockholder, the lawsuit contends.
The lawsuit accuses Matthew of making public statements that are “knowingly false” and with “malice.”
It adds that the comments damaged Tadros’s reputation and scared off business, including from Hilton hotels, the Merchandise Mart, the University of Chicago and Whole Foods.
$2 million gift endows Nick Cave’s professorship
Stephanie and Bill Sick, two longtime supporters of the arts, have donated $2 million to create a professorship at the School of the Art Institute, and renowned Chicago artist Nick Cave is its first recipient.
Cave is famed for creating “Soundsuits,” wearable art that calls attention to race and identify.
The Sicks have long admired Cave’s work. Their gift will endow a full professorship for faculty members in any of the school’s 33 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Cave has been a faculty member at the school for more than 25 years and helped establish its graduate program in fashion design.
Bill Sick is chairman and CEO of Business Resources International, a tech firm. Stephanie Sick is a member of the school’s board of governors.
Honors for reviving the Strand
When Peter Holsten took the stage the other day to receive honors for rehabbing the Strand Hotel, there was a slight stir in the audience.
“I’m surprised the Strand beat out London House for the top award,” whispered a guest at Landmarks Illinois’ Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. Holsten was honored for “project of the year.”
They haven’t seen the Strand, a Classical Revival building in Woodlawn and once a center of the jazz scene. Holsten paid $1 for the abandoned property and refurbished it into a grand apartment building.
Before he accepted his honors, I talked with Holsten about his career in bringing life to buildings in struggling neighborhoods.
“It’s a core value of mine,” he said. It started early in his career when he bought a small apartment building in Albany Park because “I could afford it. I didn’t realize I’d specialize in it.”
His Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. has developed affordable housing projects all over town, including in the Cabrini Green area. He’s working on the Lawson House YMCA.
The photographer who lets things fly
Kentaro Yamada, once an aspiring high-jumper in Japan, now spends his spare time photographing people with levitating objects.
“I want to provide positive images to counter negative news and add values to lives,” he says of his hobby-turned-passion.
Yamada has photographed restaurateurs, business executives, entrepreneurs and every-day folks. Cars seem to float mid-air in a photo of an auto repairman. Restaurateur Alpana Singh smiles as a fork and plate hover mid-air; Black Ensemble Theater CEO Jackie Taylor juggles a program; a bottle of rum pours in front of Atomic Hospitality CEO Marc Bushala and the most adorable puppy floats in a photo featuring Paws founder Paula Fasseas. They’re all featured on his blog, The Uplifted.
By day, Yamada works as a translation project manager for CME Group’s online marketing team.
Yamada, 41, moved to the United States when he was 18 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in international relations. He’s lived in the Chicago area ever since.
After being laid off from a job four years ago, a friend told Yamada to take advantage of the moment. “He said ‘These things can turn your life around.’ That stayed with me,” Yamada said.
He took up photography soon after, trying everything from wedding photos to landscapes.
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