Mimma’s Café, a popular Italian restaurant on Brady Street in Milwaukee, is doing well and is not going to close, according to restaurant owner Mimma Megna and her attorney, Luke Chiarelli.
A recent story in The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee, with the headline “Tri City files foreclosure suit against Mimma’s Café,” incorrectly led the restaurant’s customers to believe it was going to close, Mimma said.
“My phone was ringing off the wall,” she said.
Mimma, who said she was not contacted by The Business Journal, was upset about the story and said it was incorrect.
“(The Business Journal) took a dirty bucket of water and threw it out there,” Mimma said. “Mimma’s Café didn’t have anything to do with (the foreclosure).”
Mimma and her husband, Joseph Megna, are getting a divorce. They both own, under the corporate entity Porticello Corp., the Mimma’s building at 1307 E. Brady St. and the Hi Hat Lounge building across the street at 1701 N. Arlington Place. They have a joint mortgage on both buildings.
According to Chiarelli, who represents Porticello Corp., the note for the Hi Hat Lounge building mortgage came due recently. Typically, a business entity such as Porticello will rollover such a mortgage into another three- or five-year year mortgage, Chiarelli said. However, because of their pending divorce, Tri City National Bank did not want to do that and requested payment for the remainder of the loan.
The bank filed a foreclosure action for the property and also named the Mimma’s building in the action, Chiarelli said.
The mortgage for the Mimma’s building is with U.S. Bank, not Tri City National Bank, Megna said.
However, the banks each cross-collateralized with the other buildings, and that is how the Mimma’s building was named in a foreclosure action for the Hi Hat Lounge building, Chiarelli said. The foreclosure action was understandable, because Tri City National Bank was just trying to protect its own interests, he said.
The divorce will likely be finalized within the next 30 days, Chiarelli said. As part of the divorce settlement, Joseph Megna will likely get the Hi Hat building, and Mimma Megna will likely get the Mimma’s building, Chiarelli said.
Both will then probably have to refinance their loans on the buildings, Chiarelli said.
The Hi-Hat building is appraised at $1.2 million and $700,000 is still due on its loan. The Mimma’s building is appraised at $1.7 million and $800,000 is due on its loan, Chiarelli said.
Under a different corporate entity, called Megna LLC, Joseph and Mimma also own the building at 1323 E. Brady St., currently vacant and formerly occupied by Coco Bella Trattoria. They plan to sell the building, which also is currently in foreclosure. The sale, to a Milwaukee restaurateur, is expected to close in May, Chiarelli said.
The Hi Hat Lounge, which leases its building from the Megnas, and Mimma’s Café will remain open, Chiarelli said.
“(Mimma’s) pasta is safe,” Chiarelli said. “The restaurant is perfectly fine. The restaurant has been doing great this year.”