A Chicago Bears defensive lineman and his business partner are being sued for allegedly owing more than $94,000 in rent and other expenses for their now-shuttered South Loop restaurant.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, 1400 Museum Park Commercial says it was deceived when it leased a near 1,900 square-foot space to football player Israel Idonije and Cameroon-born chef Alain Njike for their restaurant, Alain’s.
Idonije declined comment Thursday night. Njike could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
After signing a five-year lease, Njike continually told the company that Idonije would make the monthly payments of $3,900, but he was too busy with his professional football career, according to the lawsuit.
The landlord, "in a good faith attempt," modified the rent schedule and payments so the eatery could open and start making money, the lawsuit states.
But the payments never came, even when the restaurant opened its doors this past August, the suit contends, prompting an eviction.
The lawsuit also states Njike trespassed onto the property at 1355 S. Michigan Avenue and refused to leave until four Chicago squad cars and numerous officers told him to go.
Along with unpaid rent and other expenses totaling $94,676, 1400 Museum Park Commercial says it only agreed to rent to Njike when he said the eatery “garnered full faith and financial support” of Idonije, who wanted to get into the restaurant industry.
In reality, the lawsuit states, Idonije didn’t oversee day-to-day operations and invested only a small amount into Alain’s.