It’s chaos in Albany Park as Sunday will be the last day for The Finch Kitchen. It’s the same space that once housed BreakRoom Brewery, marking a second closure for the building this year. Matthias Merges (Billy Sunday, A10, Yusho), who came onboard to manage and revamp the kitchen when Finch opened this summer, blamed the pending shutter on a toxic environment caused by the owners of Finch Beer Co. and investors.
"We really couldn’t get anything done," Merges said on Friday morning. "We had no support."
Merges said the relationship between Finch Beer Co. and the investors who operated Breakroom turned "adversarial" after the opening. BreakRoom opened in March 2015 and then closed in May under strange circumstances. Its founder was subjected to a variety of lawsuits. Finch Beer Co. saw that closure as an opportunity to increase its profile and open their own brewpub.
The Tribune reports the space’s owner will try to lure a new brewery and reconcept a third time. Finch Beer Co. is going through some serious turmoil, according to the newspaper. The Tribune first reported The Finch Kitchen’s closure. For Merges, working at the kitchen wasn’t worth it. He has another beer-focused restaurant, Old Irving Brewing Co., as well as an upcoming Wrigleyville restaurant inside the Hotel Zachary. That will be a riff on Billy Sunday, his popular Logan Square cocktail bar.
The shaky foundation built at BreakRoom led to this, Merges said, who talked about a "platform of quality" that was needed to ensure a successful restaurant. He’s happy with what his staff accomplished, despite the atmosphere at Finch Kitchen.