A report claims Jimmy Bannos Sr. wasn't exactly truthful in his reasoning behind closing Heaven On Seven on Rush Street: A judge forced the shutter.
Turns out Bannos owed seven months of back rent, according to Crain's. A judge on Dec. 22 ordered Bannos and company to vacate the second-floor space by Jan. 5 and pay almost $178,000.
Bannos never mentioned any legal difficulties and simply said it was the right time to close the Rush Street location, as the lease was up for the 17-year-old former hotspot for Cajun cuisine. Its city business and liquor licenses were set to expire in March.
However, last month, Bannos renewed the licenses for the original Heaven on Seven on Wabash Avenue through 2016. Last week he announced new dinner service (in time for Mardi Gras) on Thursdays through Saturdays at the Loop original, and Bannos told DNAinfo the expanded hours were designed to capture customers from the Rush Street location, as well as heavily-touting the moves as part of a "rebirth" coinciding with the restaurant's 35th anniversary year.
Meanwhile, Bannos and his partners at The Purple Pig remain entangled in a legal battle with former partner Scott Harris. Harris' attorney, Spencer Marks, would not comment on Bannos and Heaven on Seven, and only said his client's case against Bannos and other partners continues to proceed in court.