Bow Truss owner Philip Tadros files for bankruptcy

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Philip Tadros | Sun-Times file photo

Philip Tadros, the controversial owner of Bow Truss Coffee Roasters and other Chicago ventures, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though the United States trustee handling Tadros’ case says it was filed incorrectly and should be dismissed.

Tadros cited at least $2.1 million in outstanding debt — primarily stemming from Bow Truss and his downtown web marketing firm Doejo — in his Feb. 16 bankruptcy filing.

But U.S. bankruptcy trustee Patrick Layng on Feb. 23 moved to dismiss the case because Tadros filed it himself on behalf of two corporations, an “unauthorized practice of law” that “renders the filing of this case null and void,” Layng wrote.

In his bankruptcy filing, Tadros estimated his liabilities between $1 million and $10 million owed to as many as 49 different creditors, while he valued his assets between $500,001 and $1 million.

Among his 20 largest creditors, he wrote that he owes $1.3 million to New Orleans-based small-business lender BizCapital BIDCO, and $200,000 to New York lender Bond Street.

He also racked up $95,000 on a United Airlines Visa account, and $28,000 on a Southwest Visa account, Tadros’ filing shows.

Tadros did not immediately return messages from the Chicago Sun-Times seeking comment. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, which first reported the bankruptcy filing, Tadros on Tuesday said, “Are you [expletive] kidding me? You’re writing about this? It’s your fault. Crain’s is the reason all of this happened.”

Tadros filed a $38 million defamation lawsuit against the weekly business journal last summer over a July 2016 article titled “One of Chicago’s most connected entrepreneurs has made more than a few enemies.” He called it a “hit piece” that cost him millions in potential investors and contracts.

Last year, Tadros became embroiled in a heated public feud with Marcus Lemonis, a Bow Truss investor and star of CNBC’s reality show “The Profit” who previously signed a letter of intent to buy the coffee business outright but backed out, accusing Tadros of hiding the company’s debt.

That led to one of the numerous legal battles in which Tadros remains mired, including a federal lawsuit brought by former Bow Truss employees accusing him of wage theft.

Bow Truss, known for its finely roasted coffee and quirky interiors, once had 11 locations in Chicago. Just two were listed on their website as of Tuesday, in River North and the Loop.

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