Joseph Zucchero and his brother Dominic started Mr. Beef, a rustic restaurant better known for flavorful sandwiches than ambience.
The tough financial times have hit a favorite River North eatery, but its owners say they're not going anywhere.
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 owners said they took out a credit line on Mr. Beef, which they have operated for the past 31 years, to open a new restaurant called Natalino's, at 1523 W. Chicago Ave. The new restaurant opened in March of last year.
Zucchero said that 120-seat eatery "does phenomenal, even in this market," and said he sees the foreclosure case as an example of how some tight-fisted lenders are squeezing small entrepreneurs.
Zucchero said that he and Genevese are working on trying to secure refinancing with another bank to pay off Midwest.