Since last week's sudden shutter of Uptown restaurant Heidi's, some ex-employees have alleged that the restaurant has not paid wages, that checks dated before the shutter have bounced, and that tips have been withheld. Heidi's informally replied to some of the allegations this weekend over Twitter, but now here's a direct statement from co-owner Stewart Woodman, received via the restaurant's press agent:
The unintended consequence of our decision to close the restaurant was that the bank foreclosed immediately on all assets, including bank accounts. As a result, the bank has bounced any check that was not cashed, and we have no access to any accounts. We have asked that they cover payroll checks from the funds that they have seized, but have no control over their decision at this stage. Legally we are told that they have a right to do this, and they will not budge.
We've been working hard to identify buyers for the hard assets to cover the loan amount in a purchase, so that the bank will release funds to cover checks. Additionally, we are personally working to secure funding to cover the checks independently, but this will take time.
The accusation that Heidi and I profited in some way is beyond disappointing. It was made without a scintilla of evidence by folks peddling a narrative that speaks more about who they are, and what they believe us to be. That this narrative exists is a reflection on the perception that we enjoyed some financial gain from operating Heidi's. The opposite is in fact true.
Heidi and I poured everything we had into Heidi's. Now both financially, and personally exhausted, our healthiest choice—as parents, business owners and employers—was to move on. We love the folks that stayed with us through a tough year, and it breaks our hearts that they have been hurt. We are not giving up on getting funds released to see that they are paid what is rightfully theirs.
· All Coverage of Heidi's [Eater MPLS]