Oak & Char’s future uncertain amid partner dispute

By Staff | June 9, 2016

via Crain’s Chicago Business – June 8, 2016

A messy spat between two factions of partners at River North’s Oak & Char has wound its way into court, leaving the future of the 18-month-old restaurant uncertain, according to lawsuits filed by both sides.

Oak & Char, which made a splashy debut in late 2014 with its eccentric decor and food cooked over open flames, is not profitable and has more than $100,000 in unpaid liabilities, according to documents filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

It was on the brink of closing before a judge’s order June 6 that allowed its majority partners, David Blitz, Jeffrey Lake, Brian Lake and their company, BlitzLake, to take over operations from minority partners, the father-and-son team of Arthur and Tyler Mendoza.

For now, BlitzLake, which also has a stake in Untitled, a restaurant and lounge in River North, intends to continue operating the money-losing venture under the Oak & Char banner, though long-term plans for the restaurant are unclear, said BlitzLake attorney William Quinlan. Either way, the company intends to retain the space at 217 W. Huron and maintain a restaurant there, he said.

“BlitzLake is dedicated to its employees and committed to its customers and the neighborhood,” Quinlan said. “It will take whatever steps it needs to take to protect its relationships and goodwill.”

Read the rest of the story at Crain’s Chicago Business