Friday, February 4, 2011

Whoops! It Ain't Over Yet . . .

(Photo: Ole Hardwood)

The drama apparently isn't over for the South Loop space formerly known as Ole Hardwood.

Police are continuing to investigate the fire that burned down the "gastro-smokehouse" in December, according to Chicago Journal:

"Now a month since the incident, the Police Department is still looking to how the fire sparked. ... 'The cause of the fire is undetermined,' said Officer Anne Dwyer, a spokeswoman for the police. 'What officers submitted to a lab for signs of an intentionally set fire came back inconclusive."

But what is most interesting here is the interview CJ managed to get with the restaurant's former general manager:

"'Everything shady started after Thanksgiving,' said Alexander Carlin, the former general manager and sommelier of Ole' Hardwood, who said he quit in December.

"Carlin said the restaurant had problems paying its food suppliers, so the restaurant would sometimes run out of menu items. On top of that, Carlin claimed his boss wasn't paying the employees either. ... 'I knew I had to leave the sinking ship,' said Carlin. 'The operation put undue and unreasonable strain on my employees financially, and procedurally that I did not feel comfortable taking part in.'

"Upon leaving, Carlin says the owner asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement, which he declined to sign until he was paid, he said.

"Ten days later, the building went up in flames."

Sooooo much drama surrounding this story!

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