Chef Thomas Hauck files for bankruptcy after Karl Ratzsch closing

Filings list more than $3.4 million in debts

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:23 pm

Milwaukee-area chef and restaurant owner Thomas Hauck has filed for bankruptcy after closing German restaurant Karl Ratzsch earlier this year.

Hauck, also chef-owner of Walker’s Point restaurant c. 1880, purchased the iconic downtown Milwaukee Karl Ratzsch restaurant in January 2016 and re-opened it in mid-April of that year. He announced the closure of the restaurant at 320 E. Mason St. April 2, saying many factors went into the decision.

In chapter 7 filings made earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, Hauck and his wife listed assets of approximately $410,000 with more than $3.4 million in debts.

Those debts include nearly $2.3 million owed to building owner Colby Abbot Building LLP for a business lease along with $267,000 in personal loans from a family trust, roughly $120,000 to individuals on the restaurant management team who made business loans for the restaurant and trade debts to Miller Bakery, Purple Door Ice Cream and Usinger’s.

Hauck declined to comment on the proceedings. In April he said his hope had been to bring Karl Ratzsch to a new generation.

“We put everything we had into this dream and it is with a heavy heart I have to let this go. I am incredibly grateful for everyone that helped to try to make this dream come true,” he said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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