First State Bank of Middlebury's complaintBrewstra's responseCity of Elkhart's response
ELKHART -- Mad Anthony's Old State Alehouse could be heading for a sheriff's sale.
First State Bank, which holds the first mortgage on the closed downtown eatery, filed foreclosure proceedings in Elkhart Superior Court 2 on Feb. 4. The restaurant announced its closing to the public and employees with a sign on the door Jan. 27. It opened Dec. 18, 2008.
The properties affected include 526-528, 530 and 532 S. Main St. in Elkhart.
Brewstra LLC, the company of owner Eric Brewer of Elkhart, owed First State Bank $478,617.78 as of Jan. 28, plus $89.74 per day interest. The bank also is seeking associated costs, expenses and attorney fees.
The bank refinanced the original mortgage, which was made on June 5, 2008, on Jan. 13, 2010.
Court documents state that the bank notified Brewstra it was in default of its mortgage on Jan. 31. First State is seeking foreclosure and sheriff sale to recover its costs.
In a one-page response filed in court Friday, Brewstra, through its attorney ,Thomas Tokar, denied the allegations and said the bank "is not entitled to the relief sought in the complaint and that it take nothing by way of this complaint from these defendants."
Property taxes also are behind on the site. According to the Elkhart County Treasurer's Office, Brewstra owes $10,727.18, including last fall payments and penalties and this spring's payments.
Taxpayers also are on the hook with Mad Anthony's closing, but will be paid back only after and if the county gets its property taxes and First State Bank gets its money.
On June 5, 2008, the city gave Brewstra a $95,000 forgivable loan through its Community Development Block Grant rehabilitation program/Downtown Development Fund. When the restaurant closed, a $57,000 balance remained, according to documents filed in court by City Attorney Amber Bressler.
The city's Aurora Capital Development Fund loaned Brewstra an additional $50,000. The company stopped paying on that loan in October 2010. The remaining balance is not listed in the paperwork filed by the city in court, but its final repayment date is June 2013.
In addition to the city and the Aurora Capital Development Corp., also named as defendants in the lawsuit because of their interest in the property are the Business Development Corp. of South Bend, the Indiana Department of Revenue, the U.S. Small Business Development Corp. and Sound Garden of Woodstock, Ga. There was no Internet listing for Sound Garden. None of the remaining defendants responded to the suit, except for the city, so on March 24, the judge granted a default judgment on behalf of the bank, which is being represented by William Lavery.
February 2008: A mixed-use development is proposed for the former Faith Mission complex that included a casual-dining restaurant, apartments and commercial space to the southern end of downtown. Brewstra LLC proposed the restaurant occupy three of the five buildings in the 500 block of South Main Street that Faith Mission used before moving to Benham Avenue. The remaining two buildings would become apartments and commercial space.
March 11, 2008: The Elkhart Redevelopment Commission gave its approval to the plan.
June 2008: The city and Brewstra LLC completed the land sale for the restaurant.
July 2008: The city began plans to build a $300,000 parking lot for the restaurant.
December 2008: More than 100 people waited in line as Mad Anthony began hiring employees for its opening.
Dec. 17, 2008: Mad Anthony opened to the public.
Jan. 27, 2011: A sign on the door announces to the public and staff that Mad Anthony has closed.
Jan. 31, 2011: First State Bank notifies Brewstra LLC that the company is in default of its loan.
Feb. 4, 2011: First State Bank files foreclosure and sheriff sale proceedings against Brewstra.
April 8, 2011: Brewstra denies the allegations made by First State Bank.