Midwest Bank has filed a foreclosure lawsuit to collect about $650,000 on Mr. Beef, the longtime Italian beef sandwich restaurant in River North.
The Melrose Park-based bank alleges that Mr. Beef's co-owners, Joseph Zucchero and Michael Genevese, failed to pay off two loans, totaling $330,000, when they came due in October, and missed monthly payments on a third loan, according to a complaint filed Dec. 19 in Cook Court Circuit Court.
The loan problems aren't tied to the performance of Mr. Beef, a Chicago culinary institution at 666 N. Orleans St. The difficulties could be a simple story of restaurateurs overextending themselves at a bad time. A portion of the loans on the Mr. Beef building were used to cover costs of Natalino's, a West Town restaurant that Messrs. Zucchero and Genevese opened in March, "just on the cusp of this whole economic meltdown," Mr. Zucchero says ruefully.